One Greek man says he is very, very, lucky to be alive.
Antonis Mavropoulos missed his Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday, and with the count of 149 passengers who died from that flight, Mavropoulos had reportedly been scheduled to be the 150th, according to him.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight, which flew a relatively new–and now controversially reported Boeing 737 Max plane–crashed just six minutes after takeoff, and killed all 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, this Sunday.
As for Mavropoulos, he arrived just two minutes late for the flight, he said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“I was mad because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time,” Antonis Mavropoulos wrote in Greek, in a Facebook post that he titled, “My Lucky Day.”
The post, shown above, included a snapshot of Mavropoulos’ ticket, showing that he had been scheduled to fly on the now crashed Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
Google translates Mavropoulos’ post as the following:
10 MARCH 2019 – MY LUCKY DAY
Running on the flight ET 302 Addis Ababa – Nairobi, crashed 6 minutes after taking off, I had my nerves because there was no one to help me go quickly. I lost it for two minutes, when I arrived, the boarding had been closed and I was looking at the last passengers on the bell to come in – I was screaming to put me on but they did not allow it. In fact, I missed the flight because I had not given a suitcase (otherwise they would wait for me for 10-15 minutes or more, because finding a suitcase lasted for at least 40 minutes). Also, as I later learned, I lost it because I came out first and very quickly from the plane and the Ambassador connection that came to pick me up did not find me.
The airport’s people, courteous, prompted me on the next flight leaving at 11:20, apologized to me for the inconvenience and took me to a nice lounge for the three-hour wait.
At 10:50, as I boarded the next flight, two cheeks informed me that for safety reasons explained to me by a senior officer, they would not allow me to board. My intense protests left no room for debate and led them to their superior, to the police station of the airport.
He kindly told me not to protest and say thank God, because I am the only passenger who did not get on flight ET 302 which is ignored. And that’s why they can not let me go until they know who I am because I did not get on the flight and the stuff. At first I thought he was lying, but his style left no room for doubt.
I felt the ground under my feet to be lost, but I came back in 1-2 seconds because I thought something else would be, some communication problem maybe. People were kind, asked they had to ask, they checked my details and let me wait.
They put me in a living room and told me to wait there until they were notified.
I was searching on the internet to find flight information, friends from Nairobi informed me that 30 minutes after the expected time had not landed and there was no information about her fate and all of the airport’s WiFi was suddenly cut.
Fortunately, there are SMS – from a close friend I learned that the flight crashed almost just as it took off and that the issue was coming to the Greek media.
Then I realized that I had to immediately contact my own people and tell them that I was not in and that for two small accidental occasions I lost the flight – the moment I made this thought I collapsed because then I just realized that I was lucky I stood.
This text I wrote to manage my shock. I pose because I want to tell everyone that the invisible and impenetrable filaments of fortune, the out-of-plan conjunctions knit the web in which our life is caught. There are millions of small threads that we almost never feel – but one is broken enough to melt all the tissue instantly.
It’s really the first time I’m so glad I wrote a post, and I’m grateful I live and I have so many friends who made me feel their love – kissing to everyone and a warm thank you for your moving support. Special mention for the timely intervention and support of Jeroen Par Dijk Panos Fragiadakis Haris Kamariotakis and a great apology to my family for the shock they experienced.
Maybe not too old to rock n roll – but sure too young to die …
Sunday 10/3/2019, 13:00 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
“It’s the first time I’m so glad I wrote a post and I’m grateful to live and that I have so many friends that made me feel their love,” Mavropoulos wrote above. “Maybe not too old to rock n roll – but sure too young to die.”
Mavropoulos is reportedly the president of a not-for-profit organization called International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).
Reports from Athens News Agency state that he had been scheduled to travel to Nairobi to attend an annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme.
Along with Mavropoulos, passengers who had held passports from more than 30 countries had been on board the flight, a number of whom had been affiliated with the United Nations.
As reported on Heavy.com, Ethiopian Airlines, China’s aviation authorities, as well as Cayman airlines, have grounded the Boeing 737-8 MAX plane, despite its being new.
Boeing is facing scrutiny over its 737 models, given that a similar Lion Air plane crash happened after just minutes after takeoff in Jakarta, Indonesia–killing all 189 people on board in October.