A family of ten missed the vanished AirAsia flight to Singapore by a matter of minutes, it has been reported.
As Christianawati Putro Cahyono and her extended family had been looking forward to a trip Singapore.
The five children in the party were excited about the prospect of going on the rides at Universal Studios.
Her little boy is just seven months old, and her brother’s baby, who is 11 months, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Christianawati’s husband Ari Putro Cahyono had not checked emails or taken phone calls from AirAsia which would have told the family that the flight was leaving two hours earlier than scheduled.
Flight QZ8501 was originally set to take off from Juanda International Airport at 7:30 a.m. local time. but was rescheduled to 5:20 a.m.
After the family arrived at Juanda International Airport in Java airport to find that they had missed the plane – an official approached Christianawati to say: “This must have been the best Christmas gift your family ever received,” she recalls him saying. “The flight you were supposed to be on has crashed.”
The Airbus 320-200 was carrying 155 passengers and seven crew when it disappeared while en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore on Saturday.
The Airbus A320-200, vanished after its pilot failed to get permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather.
One Brit was among those on board – named as businessman Chi Man Choi. It is believed he was travelling with his two year-old daughter Zoe.
Indonesian officials believe the Airbus aircraft is likely to be at the bottom of the sea, based on the the last radar contact.
“(Because) the coordinate that was given to us and the evolution from the calculation point of the flight track is at sea, our early conjecture is that the plane is in the bottom of the sea,” said Bambang Sulistyo, head of Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency.
The search operation was relaunched today after being suspended due to bad weather over the weekend.
Ships, planes and helicopters are looking for the missing aircraft, Indonesian authorities said.
AirAsia says air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft at 6:24 a.m. Indonesia time (23.24 GMT).
The missing plane, flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, went missing as it flew between the islands of Belitung and Borneo – a heavily travelled shipping channel with shallow waters.
The pilot had requested a “deviation” from the flight path to avoid thick storm clouds, AirAsia said.
AirAsia’s Chief Executive Tony Fernandes, who has flown to Surabaya, said: “This is a massive shock to us and we are devastated by what has happened. It’s unbelievable.”
The aircraft’s disappearance has echoes of the Malaysia Airlines flight 370 mystery which dropped off the radar in March while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.