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Qatar Airways Pilots and Cabin Crew Were Trapped in an Airport Lift For Three Hours, Delaying Flight From Birmingham Airport

Qatar Airways Pilots and Cabin Crew Were Trapped in an Airport Lift For Three Hours, Delaying Flight From Birmingham Airport

a plane taking off from a runway

A group of pilots and cabin crew from Qatar Airways who were due to fly back to Doha were trapped in an elevator at Birmingham International Airport for more than three hours on Tuesday, causing a lengthy delay that caused many passengers to miss their connecting flights to far-flung destinations like Thailand and Australia.

Qatar Airways flight QR36 was due to depart Birmingham Airport at 7:45 am on January 2, but after the crew arrived at the airport on time following a short overnight layover in the West Midlands city, they became stuck in an elevator.

Just metres away from the Boeing 787-8 that was due to take up to 254 passengers to Qatar, the pilots and cabin crew had to wait for three hours to be freed and then get onboard the plane.

A spokesperson for the airport confirmed that some members of the crew were trapped in what they described as a temporary elevator and that an onsite maintenance team couldn’t get the lift back up and running.

After attempting to fix the issue for a couple of hours, the local fire brigade had to be called to free the crew, who were eventually freed at around 9:30 am.

When the crew had finally composed themselves, prepared the aircraft and boarded all the passengers, the flight didn’t take off until 11:40 am and arrived in Doha nearly three hours behind schedule.

In a statement, the airport explained: “At 6 am today {January 2), airline crew members reported becoming stuck in one of our temporary lifts.

“With our lift contractor unable to reactivate the lift system, West Midlands fire service removed a panel to allow the crew out just before 9.30 am. We are very sorry to airline crew members and customers affected by this.”

Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Doha-based carrier only resumed flights to and from Birmingham in July 2023 following a lengthy pandemic-induced suspension. The airline now operates two flights to the city, one which departs four times per week and the other which operates three times per week.

Both flights are operated on the Boeing 787-8 with timings to coincide with onward connections from Doha eastwards.

Passengers booked on the delayed flight said they were provided with an £8 refreshment voucher to see them through the wait.

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