Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 leaving Schiphol Airport in Schiphol, the Netherlands, on July 17, 2014.
A married couple from Scotland and their infant narrowly avoided the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight 17 — thanks to the fact that the flight was overbooked.
Barry and Izzy Sim and their baby were scheduled to be on board MH17, which crashed after being shot down in Ukraine airspace on Thursday around 12pm ET.
In a twist of fate, the couple were put on a later flight with the airline KLM, due to the Malaysia Airlines flight being too full. The change saved their lives.
Barry told the UK's Daily Telegraph explained how he felt when he heard the news.
“You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach," he said. "We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going.”
Izzy was thankful for the chilling last minute decision, after hearing news of the crash on the way back to the airport.
“There must have been someone watching over us and saying ‘you must not get on that flight’," she said. “Coming to the airport in the taxi I was just crying ... I feel like I’ve been given a second chance.”
Izzy said they were very loyal to Malaysia Airlines, and her husband will not normally travel with KLM. "We always want to fly with Malaysia Airlines," she said. "But do you know what, at this moment we are so glad to be on that KLM flight rather than that Malaysia Airlines flight."
Izzy told the Telegraph she was concerned about getting on their new flight, but Barry believes they must get on their lives. "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," Barry said.
"I know my wife doesn't feel like that. Probably the last thing she wants to do now is fly, especially to Kuala Lumpur."
An Adelaide couple also had a lucky escape by deciding to leave a day earlier from Amsterdam, the Australian Associated Press reported.
Simone La Posta and her husband were booked to fly from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on flight MH17 but changed their plans at the last minute.
"We originally had our itinerary to be on that flight but then we changed it thinking we’d be too jetlagged for work on Monday," she told ABC radio.‘‘It’s a bit surreal to think that one day later and I wouldn’t be here talking with you right now."
They also almost didn't get on the earlier flight as it was overbooked.
"We were on standby and we only found out literally a minute before the boarding closed that we were actually going to be leaving that day," La Posta said.
At least 298 people were on flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. There were no survivors.
Tags: AUSTRALIA, LUCKY, MALAYSIA AIRLINES, MH17, MH17 PASSENGERS, MISSED FLIGHT, PLANE CRASH, Ukraine, US & World, WORLD