Aeropelican flights took off with wrong passengers?

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There is buzz going around that Aeropelican did not realise until after takeoff that ground staff at Narrabri airport in regional New South Wales confused two Aeropelican flights and mistakenly loaded the wrong passengers on each aircraft.

Flight OT5702 was due to depart Narrabri for Brisbane yesterday morning at 8:20, five minutes before the 8:25 a.m. flight to Sydney on OT5201.

As the story goes, the Brisbane passengers were loaded onto the Sydney-bound BAE Jetstream 32 and the Sydney passengers loaded onto the Brisbane-bound Jetstream 32. The mistake was not realised until the flights were in the air, at which point the aircraft reportedly returned to Narrabri, swapped passengers, and departed again.

The Brisbane and Sydney airport websites show the two flights were significantly delayed, with OT5702 arriving at 11:10 a.m. instead of 9:50 a.m. and OT5202 arriving at 12:25 p.m. instead of 9:45 a.m.

Aeropelican could not be reached for comment. If they can confirm the incident, it will at least exemplify why passengers should put up with showing their tickets upon entering an aircraft–and why airlines should check.

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