Greek Man Saved From Doomed Flight Because He Was Running 2 Minutes Late

Antonis Mavropoulos and his boarding pass

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A Greek man who narrowly missed the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed near Addis Ababa on Sunday says he argued with ground staff to try and board after reaching the gate minutes too late.

“I saw the last passengers going through but the gate had already closed. I complained, in the usual way when that kind of thing happens. But they were very kind and placed me on another flight,” Antonis Mavropoulos told Greece’s private Skai Television, speaking from Nairobi.

Mavropoulos, who runs a recycling company and lives in Athens, was traveling to Kenya to attend an environmental conference.

“I’m slowly coming to terms with what happened and how close it came. On the other hand, I’m also very upset — I’m shattered — for those who were lost,” he said in the interview Monday. “To be honest, I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

[Gerrer Chosid And His Business Partner Saved From Ethiopian Plane Crash]

Mavropoulos put his survival down to luck.

“I didn’t check my suitcase because I knew the gap between connecting flights was tight. If I had checked the bag in, they would have waited for me,” he said. “This is a very difficult moment — one that can change your life.”

The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet occurred shortly after it took off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.

In a post on Facebook, Mavropoulos said he only became aware of the crash while preparing to check in for a later flight when he was again was stopped by airport staff.

“A (staff member) politely told me not to protest and say I should thank God, because I was the only passenger who did not board Flight 302, which was still missing. … At first I thought he was lying, but his manner left no room for doubt,” he wrote.

“I felt the ground disappear under my feet. … I have written this to manage the shock that I’m feeling.”



  1. Sure is lucky that he did not check in his luggage!! After the PANAM 103 of Dec 1988 in Lockerbie, Scotland , no luggage is allowed to travel without its owner on board!!!!!