Family Flying Air Canada Questions Decision Not to Divert in Medical Situation


CBC News reports the flyer ultimately died shortly after arriving at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).


Family Says Flyer Got Sick Several Hours in Flight; Claim Pilots Did Very Little

According to Shanu Pande’s story, she was traveling with her father, 83-year-old Harish Pant, from Dehli Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) to Montreal after he earned Canadian permanent residence. Once the flight got airborne, she says the elation quickly turned to tragedy.


Seven hours into the trip, Pande says her father began developing severe illness symptoms. His conditions included chest and back pain, vomiting, and the inability to stand up. Pande says she “pleaded” with the pilots to divert the flight due to the medical emergency.


However, the flight continued towards its final destination. The family says the crew wheeled the man to a restroom to clean up, allowed him to move to business class to lie flat, and asked anyone with medical training to see a flight attendant for help. Nobody answered the call for assistance. Upon arrival in Montreal, paramedics met the flight and attempted to help Pant. The flyer died shortly after landing.


The family claims Air Canada made the wrong decision, and that the flight should not have continued because his condition was life threatening. In a statement to CBC News, the airline says their pilots and crew followed the airline’s policies correctly.


“We can confirm that throughout the flight Air Canada’s crew properly followed the procedures for dealing with onboard medical emergencies and provided continuous care for the passenger, including relocating him to the business cabin so he could fully recline,” said Peter Fitzpatrick with Air Canada Corporate Communications in the statement to CBC News. “It is important to note that based on careful consultation with the ground-to-air medical team, diversion was not recommended.”


The statement also notes that the airline diverts flights for emergencies an average of 40 times per year.  The family tells CBC News that they plan to pursue legal action against Air Canada over the incident.


Share your thoughts about the incident – and how it should have been handled – on the FlyerTalk Forums.

Source: frugal travel guy

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