Baby born on flight to SA

2012-10-21 09:49

Johannesburg – A woman gave birth on a Virgin Atlantic plane flight from London to Johannesburg.

The woman, who was 32 weeks pregnant, apparently started getting cramps a few hours after taking off from Heathrow on Thursday night, reported Rapport.

Cabin crew made a bed for the woman at the back of the plane and she was talked through the labour, which saw her giving birth to a little boy.

The plane was redirected to Palma, Majorca, where the mom and baby were hospitalised while the rest of the passengers were flown back to London and put on another flight to SA.

“It happened so quickly. One moment we were still serving drinks and the next we were helping with the birth of a baby,” said cabin crew member Emma Goodman.

When the pilot announced the little boy’s arrival over the plane intercom, passengers apparently gave him a round of applause.



  • lownabester - 2012-10-21 09:56

    Lucky baby, hope Richard Branson give you a bit of his money.

      mario.dippenaar - 2012-10-21 10:38

      @mister.bang.tidy - Oh, the irony of your comment... It's delicious.

      lownabester - 2012-10-21 11:07

      Yes misterbang, I did think before comment, but I guess the joke is lost on most people. Its sunday be happy.

      greg.quinn.353 - 2012-10-21 17:18

      Can see the child baffled when he has to fill in a form asking.. "Which country were you born in?"

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-10-21 21:07

      What nationality will the child be if he was born on a flight between Britain and South-Africa. Does anyone know.???

      arthur.hugh - 2012-10-22 15:54

      Forgive me if I'm being doff - but I thought you weren't allowed to fly if you were over 8 months pregnant (or something like that).

  • kim.buren - 2012-10-21 09:58

    The place of birth for this little boys is?

      frank.reidrobertson - 2012-10-21 10:02

      Citizenship of the sky?

      di.hingley - 2012-10-21 11:27

      The baby takes the nationality and country of residence of the mother/parents kim.

      Alien42063 - 2012-10-21 12:24

      I was thinking the same thing. Also made me wonder when the 1st baby born in space would be. A child of Earth? Or maybe Sol (Name of solar system) lol :D

      rurapenthe - 2012-10-21 12:47

      I thought the law is that the baby can obtain the nationality of the parents AND the nationality of the airline they are travelling on? Since the airline and anyone in the plane is considered to be on "the airline's nationality ground" ? Or did that change?

      cherry.tcmr - 2012-10-22 07:31

      The nationality would be the country in whose airspace the baby was born. Hypothetically it would be Switzerland if the air craft was flying over their airspace.

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-10-22 09:44

      The nationality is not straightforward and seems to be quite complicated. Just google it and see all of the conflicting information that is offered.

      hannah.p.mostert - 2012-10-22 11:14

      World traveller, he should be able to fly free for the rest of his life..

  • donovan.hendricks.7 - 2012-10-21 09:59

    Way to go little pinkfoots!! Indeed a jetsetter you gonna be when you go grow up,congrats to mom and dad

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-10-21 10:01

    Babies come from aeroplanes. Thats what i was told when i was growing up.

      SharonE - 2012-10-21 13:36

      Sack that lazy stork!!

      melusi.myaluza - 2012-10-21 14:41

      My thoughts dactyl,that's what we were led to believe while growing up

  • sakhi.TheNextKent.dlala - 2012-10-21 10:03

    So babies do come from Aeroplanes afterall!! Great....congrats to the new mom

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-21 10:07

      Thanks, I love your posting. This is what we were taught growing-up to protect our innocence.

  • Sphiwe - 2012-10-21 10:03

    Virgin atlantic crew members are such best crew members in the world i was once there on their flight in my dreams.

      sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-10-21 10:07

      lol. u watch too much catoons.!

  • funiabsalomndala.funi - 2012-10-21 10:09


      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-22 12:08


  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-10-21 10:12

    Very good news 4 sunday morning. Little miracles.

  • Ledikwa Norman - 2012-10-21 10:13

    32 weeks pregnant? is amazing

      philas.ntuli - 2012-10-21 10:34

      Which is 8 months!! What's amazing?

      phindile.zina - 2012-10-21 10:51

      @Philas, give Ledikwa a benefit of the doubt,I was also not aware 32 weeks is 8 months.

      jason.dutoit - 2012-10-21 12:01

      32 weeks is 7 1/3 months...

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-10-22 09:47

      News flash: 4 weeks make a month! Droplet are you joking?

  • beverley.oflynn1 - 2012-10-21 10:16

    I live in Ireland and the girl living with me is pregnant. She wanted to go back to SA, but she was past 5 months and they said, the flight was too long and that she had to wait for the baby to be born. If the flight is longer then 4 hours they don't easy let you fly. The Irish are very careful.

  • Mike - 2012-10-21 10:21

    Truly this is a Virgin Birth!

      charmaine.hoffmann.1 - 2012-10-21 11:26

      Only true version too..

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-10-21 10:24

    Brings new meaning to the Mile High club... Welcome to the world, little one.

  • mlieinnocentnhlosenhle.nkosi - 2012-10-21 10:30

    Name him London to SA,anyway congrats

  • olebogeng.diratsagae - 2012-10-21 10:37

    Country of birth and citizenship?

      matli.mokoena - 2012-10-21 11:03

      British, becos the airline is registered under British law

      di.hingley - 2012-10-21 11:07

      The baby takes the nationality and country of residence of the mother/parents olebogeng.

      Tsietsi Raleting - 2012-10-21 11:10

      the captain is the issuer of the birth certificate, the country of birth is a scenario, it could either be the place where the plain was from, the country at which the plain was flying over when the baby was born, the country where the plane landed but any of the scenarios shall remain valid until that boy is 18 yrs and makes a choice of citizenship.

      Tsietsi Raleting - 2012-10-21 11:18

      that boy will have a choice to take from all scenarios including his mother and father's citizenship- it one of those few cases but special. he just have 18 year to make his up his little mind, otherwise the Captain of the Plane may attached any citizenship for now and states the other alternative countries.

      donovan.hendricks.7 - 2012-10-21 12:34

      Thanks Tsietsi for that info,the thought kinda crossed my mind too

      stirer.kathray - 2012-10-21 14:33

      As Di says, the baby takes on the citizenship of the mother. The captain of the aircraft has no jurisdiction other than to fly the plane. He does not sign birth certificates, death certificates or marry couples. If the mother has multiple citizenship, then the baby can also inherit the same multiple citizenships - assuming that this is permitted by the countries involved. (Some countries do not provide for multi citizenship).

  • kgotso.selome - 2012-10-21 10:43

    indigenous people would give him a name \ sky high, or SAA, or fly-to south Africa\...that's awesome...

      geronimo.feather - 2012-10-21 11:30

      "indigenous people" - you mean the Khoisan, right?

      kgotso.selome - 2012-10-21 14:37

      yep, they give a name based on events.

  • Stanley - 2012-10-21 10:58


      Morné Els - 2012-10-21 11:07

      Cabin crew are trained for this,they are the ones that deserve credit.

      Divvy - 2012-10-21 12:35

      It is when one reads comments like this, that one starts resenting religious people. Isn't it amazing that the crew doesn't get the praise, but a nothing in the sky is credited? To really get very ill when encountering these religious lunatics one has to get to the bed of a patient who has just been saved and then a lunatic pastor stands shouting in the ward how great god is. The whole surgical team never even comes up in their prayers.

      Fixzoza - 2012-10-21 16:06

      We thank \God\ for the cabin crew...amen!!!

  • igshaanp - 2012-10-21 11:16

    should be named salon/lonsa

  • robert.reeve.7564 - 2012-10-21 11:26

    Irresponsibility both from the mother and the airline. Nobody should fly on such aong flight when they are 32 weeks pregnant. Sir Richard should compensate all the inconvenienced passengers and pay all medical fees involved for allowing it. The mother should then be forced to refund Virgin over a given period.

      keith.ngobeni - 2012-10-21 12:11

      Take your negativity somewhere else because today its Sunday and not a suitable day for winging people like you. These sort of things do happen and the lady who gave birth is not the first and definitely not going to be the last, even the passengers applauded the pilot and were put on the next plane to Jo'burg so what is the fuss all about?.

      kitty2wp - 2012-10-21 13:34

      @robert.reeve - i agree

      melusi.myaluza - 2012-10-21 14:48

      @ Robert Bro u seriously need to get a life,the seemingly affected passengers didn't complain at all,actually they applauded,and they were seemingly not affected after all.So exactly your problem is????

      lynette.venter.12 - 2012-10-22 07:19

      32 weeks is barely the third trimester in a pregnancy - there was still under normal circumstances, 2 months to go before the boy should have made his appearance. You're one of those people that think woman are only good for cleaning, cooking and making babies, and once pregnant should stay where they are and not "inconvenience" anyone because of their "condition". Go screw yourself, she had full right to fly where ever she wanted. If it were 38 weeks, I would have had a different opinion.

      melissa.mccormick.1420 - 2012-10-23 08:52

      i was on this flight, and it was complete negligence on behalf of the airline. after they diverted the plane, then the pilots realised they did not have enough flight time to get back to south africa, after tremendous delays we arrived back in London, the service was virgin was shocking, and after being shacked up at some hotel the flight back was worse. Not enough crew, not enough food or drinks and they are sure we understand due to the "@medical emergency". I dont understand and was told i would not be reimbursed for the loss of the connecting flight as that flight was not virgin. shocking service, virgin would never see me again.

  • giancarlo.groenewald - 2012-10-21 11:29

    Congrats my best wishes to the mom and dad for a job well done. It's a sign that this baby will never have a fear of heights.

  • thatoadam.ndlovu - 2012-10-21 11:34

    I like the way the cabin crew handled it, the boy is next pilot

      beverly.pearce.33 - 2012-10-21 17:56

      Well done cabin crew welcome little one

  • tony.kirby1 - 2012-10-21 11:44

    Just imagine the flight continuing to OR Tambo. Why is the child not on your passport Madam. Da baby not allowed in with out da passport. Sorry no entry. Then next day in the Press the Minister Of Home affairs would say the official was just following the rules.

      Xolani Made - 2012-10-21 11:53

      You are

      Divvy - 2012-10-21 12:40

      lol and more lol

  • Dalton Randall - 2012-10-21 12:02

    the baby will have the same citizenship as the mother, however the baby can also get the citizenship of the country over which the aeroplane flew at the time.

      kgotso.selome - 2012-10-21 14:34

      dual citizenship

  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-10-21 12:22

    We at least he can have a British Passport. Well done

  • Lunga - 2012-10-21 12:35

    Virgin birth?

  • rurapenthe - 2012-10-21 12:44

    on the up side, at least the airline didnt charger for an Infant fare for the rest of the trip...

      gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-10-21 14:44

      Ha ha! You are funny. The trip is not complete yet. They still have one leg left, Spain to London?

  • Khetha Hlophe - 2012-10-21 13:02

    How on earth they allowed her to fly,all parties involved are irresponsible. Its very difficult to cater for preterm how much more on flight.If the baby needed extra life support,who d be re\r\nSponsible for the death

  • kitty2wp - 2012-10-21 13:30

    i would've been peeved to pay for a ticket and get no attention or dinner because the stewards are playing nurses. most pregnant would not travel at 32 weeks and doctors usually advise on this. Well done to the staff and other passengers for being understanding, i hope the lady appreciates all that was done for her ... the re-route must've caused a lot of inconvenience for many people heading to meetings, not to mention the delays for families waiting.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-10-21 13:47

    so what will nationality of this baby be ;in transito ,and were will he be regiistered liked to be a fly on the wall at our home affairs when the parents try to explain this one

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-10-21 14:02

    The baby will be named Airborne.

  • percy.vanzyl.1 - 2012-10-21 14:45

    People did not applaud as they were very upset. The flight was delayed by 21 hours.

  • Stan Mathekga - 2012-10-21 14:46

    place of birth: atmosphere

  • pierre.vermeulen1 - 2012-10-21 15:20


  • Fixzoza - 2012-10-21 16:11

    We thank God for the cabin crew ,they did a great job!!!

  • siliziwem - 2012-10-21 20:05

    what nationality is he?

      lums.zindela - 2012-10-21 22:33


  • sam.ntshangase - 2012-10-21 22:14

    Should this hapened at SAA , you would be talking shyte. Racism is alive n kicking in SA

  • lums.zindela - 2012-10-21 22:42

    Wonderful the boy is a pilot by birth.

  • paul.defondaumiere - 2012-10-22 07:39

    That inconvenience must of cost the airline a bit of Money! Branson will want it back.

  • IceRage - 2012-10-22 08:24

    rubbish, no one clapped as we were all very tired and were no very amused, so many people had change their plans. I will take my hat off to Virgin as they did handle everything very well afterwards.

  • noxolo.sikhundla - 2012-10-22 08:46


  • littlelearner - 2012-10-22 10:12

    I believe the Parlotones were on this flight too.... (a bit of useless info for you this am)

  • craig.ellis.56829 - 2012-10-22 10:29

    So what nationality will the kid be?

  • lynette.mufaro - 2012-10-22 11:18

    How will immigration process this baby on arrival i.e. passport,visa...etc?

  • Bfoq.Za - 2012-10-22 11:39

    Mile high baby! Yeay!

  • mknnko003 - 2012-10-22 11:56

    Does that make her a South African?

      simon.selahla - 2012-10-23 05:14

      The child will have 2 citizenship status, SA and UK.

  • michelle.stevenspetersen - 2012-10-22 13:39

    Mostly negative on this topic? WOW! Congratulations to the mother on her bundle, glad you & baby are ok

  • Petronell - 2012-10-22 20:55

    @Hugh_Influence - your forgiven.......the lady was 32 weeks pregnant. Not 36 weeks.

  • chaze.damonze - 2012-10-23 00:44

    I love that Virgin is one of the tags in the story

  • suyann.slaters - 2012-10-23 08:25

    She should name him Sky :)

  • melissa.mccormick.1420 - 2012-10-23 08:56

    i was on this flight, the only idiots that appauled were those that didnt realise the consequences at the time. flight delays, more shocking service from virgin, who apparently could not be bothered about the other 299 passangers on board.

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