When you purchase a $60 flight ticket—any flight ticket, really—you expect to see other passengers. You rejoice when you discover you have a whole row to yourself because so very often the exact opposite happens.
But when Karon Grieve boarded her flight from Glasgow, Scotland to the Greek island of Crete, she was the only passenger aboard. The Jet2 flight normally carries 189 passengers and after two passengers failed to show up, Grieve was the only one aboard. She described the experience as “surreal.”
— Karon Grieve (@KaronGrieve) October 23, 2017
“I turned up at the check-in desk and was joking with the staff, saying ‘how many people are on this flight?’
“The guy was laughing at me and he said ‘oh come on, guess’.
“We got it down from 10 to four and he said ‘you’ll never guess it, there’s only three of you’.
“But when I got to the actual gate, the other two people hadn’t turned up.”
As a result, Grieve was best friends with the crew. All service announcements were made on a first name basis and Grieve was encouraged by the head pilot to run up and down the aisle when they were airborne. Treated like a VIP, Grieve received drinks and food galore on her trip.
“The captain was fantastic. She came and sat beside me while the first officer did all the flight checks and we were chatting away about the flight.”
She added: “Every time she made an announcement she said, ‘Hi there Karon, you’ll see Croatia on your left-hand side’, and then we flew through this amazing lightning storm and she suddenly came on and said, ‘Hi Karon and the girls, quickly run to the other side of the plane and look at this, it’s amazing.’
“It was just surreal.”
Grieve was flying to Crete for a month so that she could work on her crime novel. A spokesperson for the airline told the BBC it’s not unusual for these direct flights aimed at summer vacationers to see less passengers as they got out of season. This was the final outbound flight of the year for such a route, so Grieve basically just lucked out.