British Family's Lives Spared After Missing MH17 Flight Because Plane Was Full

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Debris from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed on Thursday lies on the ground near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region on July 18, 2014.

The lives of a British couple and their baby were saved when the family wasn’t allowed to board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Amsterdam Thursday.

Barry Sim and his wife Izzy told The Telegraph they were kept from getting on the flight since there weren’t enough seats on the plane. The couple ended up being moved to a KLM flight that took off later in the day. 

When they learned that MH17 had been shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, Sim says they had an unsettling response to the news.

“You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. [...] We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going,” he said. Izzy added that she believes that someone must have been “watching over us and saying ‘you must not get on that flight.’”

According to Izzy, they typically fly on Malaysia Airlines. But they are grateful that they were forced to book with KLM on Thursday. Sim says his wife is a little nervous about flying now, but he isn’t too worried about returning to the skies.

"In my mind, lightning never strikes twice in the same place, so I am still philosophical that you get on the flight and you go about your life. I know my wife doesn't feel like that. Probably the last thing she wants to do now is fly, especially to Kuala Lumpur."

Along with the 295 adult passengers, the airline announced Thursday night that three infants were also on the plane. A statement on the Malaysia Airlines website said there were nine passengers from the United Kingdom on board.   

The airline tweeted that it is currently in the process of notifying the victim’s families. It said the passenger manifest will not be released until all next of kin have been notified. 

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