A grandfather’s illness turned out to be a blessing for a family of five booked on doomed Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501, Bloomberg reported. However, a British man and his infant daughter wound up on the flight because another flight was full, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The fate of the 162 people aboard Flight 8501, also known as AirAsia Flight QZ8501, is uncertain. The Airbus A320-200 lost contact with air traffic control about two hours into the Singapore-bound flight. Search operations were expected to resume early Monday, local time. No trace of the plane has yet been found.
Christopher Incha Prasetya, 10, cried after his parents canceled their flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, because of a grandfather’s illness, Bloomberg reported. The family of five was among 26 people, including three infants, who didn’t show up to board.
“The kids were still on holidays and Christopher was very upset when we said that we couldn’t go after all,” Christopher’s mother, Inge Goreti Ferdiningsih, 37, an accountant, told Bloomberg. “When we told him the plane was missing, he didn’t believe us until we showed him the tickets.” The family also includes father Chandra Susanto, a businessman, daughter Nadine, 6, and son Felix, 5.
The family booked the trip in June and was scheduled to spend three nights in Sentosa, an island resort in Singapore. The children were excited about going to a water park there, Ferdiningsih said.
British businessman Choi Chi Man and daughter Zoe weren’t as fortunate. Man’s wife and son boarded a different flight to Singapore, but there weren’t enough seats for the whole family. So Man and his daughter boarded Flight QZ8501.
“It is just tragic. I am guessing it was a personal trip rather than business because they were traveling as a family,” Steve Hayler, a former colleague of Man, told the Telegraph.
Although the fate of the plane is unknown, Hayler spoke of Man in the past tense.
“He was a genuinely nice bloke. I remember him as an expert networker who was brilliant at making contacts,” Hayler said. “There will be many hundreds of people who will have known ‘Chi’ as an acquaintance. There will be a lot of people who will be very sad.”