One of my regular blogs is USA Today’s “Today In The Sky” column by Ben Mutzabaugh; I check it a few times a day. Today’s lead-off story is how a flier complained about having to sit next to a corpse for an overnight flight, and got a partial refund from the airline.
My complaint? If, as stated in the article, that the corpse in question was indeed alive and having convulsions, then why in the hell did the airline taxi and take off? This seems just monumentally stupid. I mean, come on! That is a medical emergency – the very definition of medical emergency. The plane should have never left the gate, much less the ground. If the man had been taken off, he may well still be alive today.
When we were coming back from our last vacation, there was a medical emergency onboard. A mother forgot her kid’s steroid inhaler, and basically from about 30 minutes into the flight from DFW to PDX, we had no idea if we were going to make it or not. Luckily there was a pediatrician on, and the kid mostly responded to the medications he was given, but there were half a dozen times when the captain would come over the PA and ask for an update, saying we could be diverting (Albuquerque, Denver, Salt Lake City, Boise are just a few that I remember) at any moment if the kid got any worse.
So okay, the flight above with the corpse was Kenyan Airways, and our flight was American Airlines. But I’m sorry – a medical emergency is a medical emergency. And the outrage is about sitting next to a corpse? How about turning the man into a corpse in the first place!