Over the loudspeaker, Mr Bradley informed the other passengers of the unique circumstances and announced: "My wife, who's on row 15 with my little boy - hopefully he's asleep by now, I should keep it down or else I'll get told off... said 'our flight's delayed by two hours because they are minus one captain for the flight'....
"So just before we went through security, I thought I wonder if this is worth a phone call, I think it is because I'd like to go on holiday.
"I phoned up EasyJet and said, 'Hiya, I'm standing in the terminal doing nothing.
"I have got my licence with me... I have got my ID with me and I'd very much like to go on holiday, and if you need a favour I'm standing here ready to go.’
"They said 'we'll phone you back'.
"Thirty eight seconds later they phoned me back and said 'please, please pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the aeroplane to Alicante'?”
Dressed in casual clothing, he joked: “So if you’re alright with one of your pilots to look like this today, we’ll go to Alicante.”
Passengers responded with laughter and loud applause.
Michelle Hannah Potts, a passenger who filmed the incident, said in a Facebook post: “Get to the airport and our flight is delayed a couple of hours... then I happen to look at the original time and it changed to gate closing!”
“Get to boarding and asked the guy at the desk what's going on he said 'oh your pilot's gone missing but a guy that's going on your flight is going to fly the plane!
“Probably would of been cancelled if it wasn't for him! Legend!”
The original pilot was on standby, and had to make his way from Liverpool to Manchester, thus delaying the flight.
A spokesperson for EasyJet told the Manchester Evening News the flight's delay was due to the knock-on effects of an air traffic control failure in France over the weekend, meaning the airline was forced to rely on standby cabin crew.
They said: "We are grateful to one of our pilots who was travelling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on September 2 with his family and volunteered to operate the flight.
"This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew.
“This is fully in line with regulations as he had his licence and ID with him. "Safety is always our highest priority."