Simone La Posta and her husband Juan Jovel flew into Adelaide on Friday morning to news that there were no survivors from the flight they had originally been booked on.
“We flew into KL (Kuala Lumpur) via Amsterdam on the MH17 flight the day before,” La Posta said. “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 says they found their earlier change of flight was overbooked so had to wait at the airport and literally found out at the last minute they had seats for that journey home.
“It’s a bit surreal to think that one day later and I wouldn’t be standing here,” she said after passing through Adelaide customs. “We did the old Facebook update as we were sitting on the tarmac just to let people know that we were okay.”
Meanwhile, Briton Barry Sim and his wife Izzy were told there were not enough seats on the doomed flight for them and their baby so they switched to a later KLM flight, Britain’s Daily Telegraph has reported.
Mr Sim, from Scotland, told the paper he had a “sick feeling” when he learned of the plane’s fate.
“You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach,” Mr Sim said. “We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going.”
Mrs Sim added: “There must have been someone watching over us and saying ‘you must not get on that flight’.
The couple were very loyal to Malaysia Airlines and always wanted to fly with them, she said. Her husband didn’t like 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 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Mr Sim told the Telegraph he was “philosophical” about taking the KLM flight, despite his wife’s misgivings about the danger of another crash.