A brand-new Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on Sunday shortly after takeoff, killing 157 people.
Greek passenger Antonis Mavropoulos survived the crash by a stroke of luck, missing the Boeing 737 flight due to a 2-minute delay at check-in following another flight.
“I arrived two minutes after check-in shut. I saw passengers go in, and I was angry that they wouldn’t let me fly,” Mr Mavropoulos said.
Mr Mavropoulos also posted his ticket on Facebook in what he described as “My Lucky Day”.
Mr Mavropoulos had his luggage with him and was going to switch over flights at Addis Ababa to head to Nairobi. His flight landed on time, but an airport official was late in arriving to escort him to the next leg of his journey and so Mr Mavropoulos had not waited for him.
“Had I handed in my luggage or had the official found me on time, then I would have been on the flight,” he said.
Mr Mavropoulos said that he had even been held as a “potential suspect”.
“The people who issued a ticket for me to leave three hours later (at 11.20am) told me that I could not embark because I was the only person who had not embarked during the previous flight that went missing. And they held me as a potential suspect! But because I had my luggage with me there was no obvious connection and then they let me go after a pseudo-interrogation,” Mr Mavropoulos said.
He knew people on the flight that crashed and feels lucky to be alive.