Air France plane crash: hotel plans save honeymoon couple

• Air France flight 447 passengers recount escape stories
• Newlyweds postponed tickets to extend stay at luxury hotel

Two were saved by an expired passport. Two more postponed their flight on a whim. The people who narrowly missed flight AF447 today recounted their escapes.

A Brazilian legal analyst João Marcelo Calaça, 37, was turned away at the gate as his passport had run out. The friend he was travelling with was furious, but neither got on the flight. Calaça didn't realise the jet had gone down until he woke in a hotel the next morning to 25 missed calls from his panicking family.

A Brazilian couple, Rodrigo Motta and Bianca Igrejas, decided on the dance floor of their Copacabana wedding celebrations that they wanted another night to enjoy their luxury wedding hotel. In the middle of their party, at 1am on Saturday, they postponed their flights using their mobile phones.

Claude Jaffiol, a French medical professor, had been at a congress in Rio before he and his wife visited a friend, the Dutch consul, in Brasilia. They decided to return early to Montpellier in southern France and insisted on getting flight 447. Their diplomatic friend pulled every string he could to get them on the flight but to their frustration, it was full. "It's a miracle," Jaffiol said, after arriving at Charles de Gaulle airport on a later flight. "We should have been on that plane."


Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

The GuardianTramp

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