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Qatar Airways Flight Delayed After Pilot Gets Stuck In An Elevator At Birmingham Airport

by Staff


  • Passengers on Qatar Airways flight QR36 from Birmingham to Doha experienced a four-hour delay due to the pilot and crew getting stuck in a temporary elevator.
  • The delay caused chaos at the airport, with passengers missing their onward connections and facing long queues for meal vouchers and rebooking assistance.
  • Qatar Airways serves Birmingham International Airport daily, with a mix of morning and afternoon departures.

On Tuesday, passengers expected to depart Birmingham, destined for Doha in the Middle East, experienced a delay of almost four hours after the pilot and his crew got stuck in a temporary elevator.

Qatar Airways, flight QR36, which feeds into the carrier’s robust network from its Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH) hub, had passengers’ travel plans thrown into chaos when the flight delay meant hundreds missed their onward connections.

The pilot and crew were stranded in the elevator between 06:00 and 09:30 and had to wait for the local fire crew to free them from the claustrophobic elevator. A Birmingham Airport spokesperson released this statement:

‘With our lift contractor unable to reactivate the lift system, West Midlands fire service removed a panel to allow the crew out just before 9.30am. We are very sorry to the airline crew members and customers affected by this.’

BHX airport reiterated that the crew was trapped in a temporary elevator, and the onsite maintenance team could not react to this once it stalled.

Pandemonium at the airport

As reported by the Metro, the delayed service saw chaos in the boarding area, with passengers describing large queues for meal vouchers as ‘a shambles’ and aid in rebooking their missed onward connections. Passengers were also asked to leave the boarding area while they waited for further updates.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 taking off

Photo: Bagaskara Lazuardi | Shutterstock

Passengers quickly pointed out the ‘measly’ vouchers they were given by QR, which were for GB £8 ($10), in which a ‘Costa Coffee at BHX’ could easily cost as much as GB £4.50 ($5.70).


Qatar Airways serves Birmingham International Airport daily from its Middle Eastern hub, with a mix of four afternoons BHX departures (operated at QR34) and three morning departures (QR36). The service on Tuesday, January 2nd, was expected to depart at 07:45 for the almost six-hour service to Doha, with an expected arrival time of 17:30. Once the crew had ‘escaped’ the elevator, according to Flightradar24, the flight eventually departed at 11:40, touching down at Doha Hamad International Airport at 20:28.

The morning departures operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, with this particular flight used by one of the oneworld carriers, an eight-year-old Boeing 787-8 aircraft holding the registration A7-BCZ, serial number 38344. Upon the aircraft’s arrival in Doha, it was allocated on another flight back to Europe, operating QR179 to Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (OSL), at 01:25.

Qatar_Airways 787-8

The alternate service, QR34, operates four times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, at 14:05 local time and arriving at 23:50. Qatar Airways relaunched its direct service to Birmingham in July last year after a lengthy COVID-19 freeze. Its West Midlands service is complemented by its other UK services, including Edinburgh, London–Gatwick, London–Heathrow, and Manchester.

QR once served the Welsh capital of Cardiff, pre-pandemic. However, discussions are ongoing about whether the carrier will return to the Welsh city and connect Cardiff International Airport (CWL) directly to the Middle East once again. Across the Irish Sea, Qatar Airways also serves Dublin with a double daily service.

  • Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1041A7-ANN

    Qatar Airways

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Doha Hamad International Airport

    Year Founded:


    Akbar Al Baker


  • Doha Hamad International Airport

    IATA/ICAO Code:


    Akbar Al Baker

    Passenger Count :
    17,702,635 (2021)

    Runways :
    16R/34L – 4,250m (13,945ft) |16L/34R – 4,850m (15,910ft)

    Qatar Airways

    Terminal 1

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