Barry Sim and Wife Izzy Missed Malaysia Airlines Flight That Crashed Due to Lack of Seats

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
July 17, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A British couple was nearly on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine on July 17.

They had been planning to fly on the flight but were told that there weren’t enough seats so they switched to a later KLM flight.

9 British passengers were among the 298 on board MH17, Malaysia Airlines said in its most recent update. 154 Dutch, 42 Malaysian, 27 Australian, and 12 Indonesian persons were on board as well, in addition to other nationalities.

“You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach […] We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going,” Sim told the Telegraph, referring to his response to hearing that MH17 went down. No survivors have been identified as the plane broke up mid-air and pieces were strewn over a span of miles in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia.

“There must have been someone watching over us and saying ‘you must not get on that flight,'” added Izzy.

“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.”

“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,” added Barry. “I know my wife doesn’t feel like that. Probably the last thing she wants to do now is fly, especially to Kuala Lumpur.”


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Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.