Family of 10 Missed Doomed Flight by Minutes

26 people with tickets didn't board Flight 8501
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2014 2:52 AM CST
Family of 10 Missed Doomed Flight by Minutes
A military member points to a map of Indonesia at the crisis center set up by local authorities at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia.   (AP Photo/Trisnadi Marjan)

Some 162 passengers and crew are missing and presumed lost on AirAsia Flight 8501, but the total would be a lot higher if the airline hadn't changed the departure time to two hours earlier than originally scheduled. Christianawati was one of 10 members of an extended family—including her 7-month-old son and another infant—booked on the flight who missed it by minutes after they missed emails and phone calls from the airline earlier this month to inform them of the time change to 5:35am, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Her husband and brother-in-law arrived in time to see latecomers race for the plane yesterday morning, but they decided to wait for the rest of the group to arrive in a second car.

While the group was still trying to negotiate a later flight with airline staff, they were informed the plane had disappeared. "We felt completely limp, the whole family," Christianawati says. "It was like we'd lost our spirit." "I just remember those people who we saw running to the last call," her husband says. "I hope they find them." There were a total of 26 no-shows for the flight from Surabaya to Singapore, reports Bloomberg, including a 10-year-old boy whose parents canceled a family trip because his grandfather was ill. The boy "was very upset when we said that we couldn't go after all," his mother says. "When we told him the plane was missing, he didn't believe us until we showed him the tickets." Read more on the missing flight here. (More AirAsia stories.)

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