Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: British Family Reveal Shock After Narrowly Missing Doomed Plane

A British family who narrowly missed boarding the doomed flight MH17 after they switched planes because it was full have spoken of their shock.

Barry Sim tried to board the Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur but could only get one seat, the BBC reported.

Instead, he and his wife Izzy booked on to a KLM flight with their baby son.

Nine Britons are now known to have died when flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine yesterday.

Barry and Izzy Sim

Officials from the airline said 298 people were on board the Boeing 777-200, which was apparently shot down over the war-torn country.

After hearing of the crash, Mr Sim described his near miss at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.

"You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going."

Mr Sim, thought to be from Methlick in Aberdeenshire, said he was "philosophical" about continuing to "go about your life", saying he believed the couple should take the KLM flight, despite his wife's misgivings about the danger of another crash.

"In my mind, lightning never strikes twice in the same place so I am still philosophical that you get on the flight and you go about your life. I know my wife doesn't feel like that. Probably the last thing she wants to do now is fly, especially to Kuala Lumpur."

Mrs Sim said: "There must have been someone watching over us and saying 'You must not get on that flight'.

"We are very loyal to Malaysia Airlines and we always want to fly with Malaysia Airlines."

She added that her husband usually disliked flying with KLM.

"But, do you know what? At this moment we are so glad to be on that KLM flight rather than that Malaysia Airlines flight," she said.

A newlywed couple from Australia returning from their honeymoon also had a lucky escape after re-booking their tickets off the plane at the last minute.

Simone La Posta and Juan Jovel changed their flights to travel home a day earlier at the last minute after fearing they would be too jet-lagged on their return to work.

She said that they only learned of the disaster after they landed in Adelaide, and were still struggling to take in the implications of their last-minute change in plans.

“It’s a bit surreal to think that one day later and I wouldn’t be standing here,” she told Australia’s ABC news, where she works as a marketing co-ordinator.

“I think maybe I’ll feel lucky eventually but I think right now you feel just very numb and maybe not so much lucky but more grateful to be here and not have been one of those poor people.”

She said that Malaysian Airlines staff on the flight had also seemingly been unaware of the crash and had been

Her husband added: “It’s surreal, just glad to be home.

“At the moment seeing all the images it’s a bit hard to process it really.”