Lonely Planet Writer

Popped champagne cork forces flight to divert to Milan

A flight had to be grounded after a popped champagne cork hit the ceiling of the cabin and damaged it.

A cork from a bottle of champagne inadvertently popped on a plane led to a diverted landing in Milan on a flight from London to Dalaman in Turkey
A cork from a bottle of champagne inadvertently popped on a plane led to a diverted landing in Milan on a flight from London to Dalaman in Turkey Image by phil wood photo / CC BY 2.0

The accidental popping by a stewardess of the bottle of champagne on a flight from the UK to Turkey  caused the oxygen masks to shoot down after the stopper hit the ceiling – leaving passengers in a momentary terrified state.

The New York Daily News reports that the flight was then forced to divert to Milan in Italy.

EasyJet increases connections to Iceland. Image by RHL Images / CC BY-SA 2.0.
EasyJet  had to force land in Italy after a champagne cork hit the cabin ceiling on a flight between England and Turkey Image by RHL Images / CC BY-SA 2.0. Image by RHL Images / CC BY-SA 2.0

The EasyJet flight to the holiday resort of Dalaman was two hours into its journey when it had to land at the north Italian airport to repair the damage.

A passenger told The Sun newspaper that while it wasn’t very funny when it happened, he could now see “the lighter side” of what a champagne stopper could do.

The pilot explained why they had to divert and apologised to the passengers, who had to endure a seven-hour delay.

Later the airline confirmed that they diversion was undertaken as a “precautionary measure” because of the technical issue caused by the popping cork.

Part of the delay was to check the plane and also to reset the oxygen masks.

The carrier said their captain took the right decision because the masks had to be re-adjusted, in line with safety and well-being priorities they always give to passengers and crew.