A TUI flight took off more than 1,200 kilograms heavier than expected after an IT error classified all passengers with the title of ‘Miss’ as children.
According to the UK government’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), the glitch occurred after the flight reservation sheet was updated while the airline was grounded due to COVID-19.
“There was a fault in the system which, when a female passenger checked in for the flight and used or was given the title ‘Miss’, caused the system checked her in as a child,” the report concluded.
“The system allocated them a child’s standard weight of 35 kilograms as opposed to the correct female standard weight of 69 kilograms. Consequently, with 38 females checked in incorrectly and misidentified as children, the G-TAWG takeoff mass from the load sheet was 1,244 kilograms below the actual mass of the aircraft.”
In response to this “serious incident”, the AAIB said the operator introduced checks to ensure adult females were referred to as ‘Ms’.
According to BBC News, the difference in weight could have had a serious effect on take-off, but the report indicated operations were not compromised.
The flight, which departed from Birmingham Airport, landed safely in Majorca on 21 July 2020.
Travel Weekly has contacted TUI for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication. However, the airline told BBC News that the incident was isolated.
“The health and safety of our customers and crew is always our primary concern. Following this isolated incident, we corrected a fault identified in our IT system,” the airline said.
“As stated in the report, the safe operation of the flight was not compromised.”