The flight was originally given the OK but the air traffic controllers reversed themselves moments later.
The Washington Post: reported
Indonesian air-traffic controllers apparently denied a request by the pilot of a missing AirAsia commercial jet to climb to a higher altitude, just minutes before the plane disappeared from their screens Sunday without a distress call.
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The plane, an Airbus A320-200 with 162 people aboard, had encountered a string of intense thunderstorms and heavy clouds over the Java Sea. Hoping to avoid the worst of the weather, the pilot radioed in a request to climb from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet, an Indonesian Transport Ministry official, Djoko Murjatmodjo, said at a news conference.
Controllers at first gave him the okay but then reversed themselves because of other air traffic in the vicinity, including a flight above his, Murjatmodjo told Kompas, a leading Indonesian newspaper.
The pilots requested an unusual route before disappearing.