View Full Version : Dead Guys travel economy

24th Apr 2001, 19:45
(VANCOUVER - 23Apr01).
A British Columbia family is demanding an explanation from Continental Airlines as to why they were required to fly home from an otherwise perfect tropical vacation seated next to a corpse.
Donna Beaulieu, her daughter Teresa Beaulieu and son-in-law Dale Alexander, were on their way home from a two-week stay in Bali on Jan. 7 when their flight put down at a remote island between Guam and Honolulu. A middle-aged man in a hospital gown boarded the plane accompanied by two attendants, neither of whom spoke English. Donna Beaulieu, seated across the aisle from the patient, said she had a hunch the ailing man wasn't going to make it.

"I got to see him choking and gagging and frothing and everything," Beaulieu said.

"And his leg kept coming out into the aisle beside me," she said. "We were trying to push it back in so the food cart wouldn't run over it."

After about three hours, the man quietly died. In a written complaint to Continental, Beaulieu's son-in-law Alexander says he persuaded flight attendants the man passed away. Beaulieu said airline staff returned the dead man to an upright position and proceeded to serve the in-flight meal.

"They just sort of propped him up with a pillow under his head and tucked him in like he was having a nap."

The family is seeking financial compensation for the trip. Continental said the airline is obligated to provide transportation to Hawaii for critically ill passengers in Micronesia.

25th Apr 2001, 01:46
It's a funny old world...

Anybody got a link to Private Eye?

25th Apr 2001, 02:00
Sounds like the cabin crew did their job as laid out (!) in their ops manual. It's certainly in our company manual to do what they did.........oh, and place a plastic sheet under the body........just in case of leaking bodily fluids etc etc.........

25th Apr 2001, 02:43
"Ops Manual" to talk about ?

Orwellīs Age is up to date.

It never will be that way on a plane I fly.

25th Apr 2001, 09:45
Just one more example of how American carriers don't give a flying f##k about their passengers. Their "We don't care because we don't have to" routine is amazing!

25th Apr 2001, 10:28
Did he have the chicken or the beef ? :)

25th Apr 2001, 11:23
Usual stuff from your usual uppity Americans/Canadians who think the world revolves around them!.
No sign of compassion such as - "Oh this poor old man trying to get to hospital died on the flight, we were so sorry, what a shame etc" just : "Some old croak who leg impinged -my space- etc".
What about the drunks on your average charter flight who reek of booze? Anyone suing for that or for the guy who has the volume turned up full blast and disturbs your whole flight etc!
Can't these people get themselves a life and get on with it!
Had this been a baby in an incubator on the aircraft who passed away, it would be a sob story letter to Continental. However, just because they felt a little uncomfortable with the guy across the aisle we get a "You ruined our holiday and we want you to pay for it!"
What an extremeley sad world we are forced to live in these days.

[This message has been edited by Icarus (edited 25 April 2001).]

25th Apr 2001, 12:47
I would just like to say that I was on a flight was The Canary Islands a couple of years ago (as a passenger), there was a man on this flight who had a heart attack. We were forced to land in Lisbon to enable a doctor to get on board, after well over an hours worth of resuscitation the man passed away.

I would just like to point out that on this occasion (on a Flying Colours flight) the staff were extremely helpful, very attentive, and also extremely upset by the whole experience.

The passengers were concerned and there were no complaints from anyone, everyone just felt very sorry for the family and for the crew.

Just to say that either not all ops manuals are calous or that not all crews are unfeeling.

Not an experience that i would like to have to go through again.


25th Apr 2001, 15:35
Just curious, but I thought there was only lots of Ocean between Guam & Honolulu? - what "Micronesian" Island has got a long enough runway to land a big jet ( even going off track a bit? ).

Typical Nth American/Canadian outlook on life - if you can, sue the bastards!

25th Apr 2001, 16:14
What else could the flight crew have done?

There is no space, overhead or otherwise for dead pax on any plane.

Poor old guy did not make it and these suckers are trying to make a nickel from it.

Men, this is no drill...

25th Apr 2001, 18:18
Looks like the poor fellow really was critically ill.

As was pointed out there is alot of ocean mostly out there which means no hospitals, etc so the airliner route is probably the only game in town and Continential may be obligated under the terms of their approval for conducting Part 121 operations to provide this transportation , public convenience and necessity or something.

Seems like they could have set things up in the first place for the patient to have a little more privacy to make the trip a little more comfortable for him and the rest of the pax. After the unfortunate happened it appears the crew did what they could.

As for the distressed BC family I can appreciate their point of view but the suit is a little much, doubt they will win anything.

25th Apr 2001, 19:07
Surprised that a big outfit like Continental doesn't carry body bags on their ac. Any "Continental's" who can tell me if they do?
HAve doctor declare the patient dead, zip the body into the bag making sure the face is not covered, stow it in a toilet and look after the people who have witnesed the distressing event

Rocky, good to hear that your experience was different from the above, but I can't say the reaction of this family surprises me. I've had pax demanding a refill of their Whisky Soda while we were doing CPR on a dying traveler. PAx threatening to sue us when we made un enscheduled landing due to a lady going into premature labour and pax trying to take video footage of a taveler suffering an epileptic insult. :rolleyes:

It takes al kinds.............

25th Apr 2001, 19:53
Well maybe (!!) the FAs could have handled it a bit more "elegantly"...

Still, no wonder the US guys always get really nervous as soon as they hit some bumps, With jerks like those folks in the back.
Just too much reality after the "dream-vacation", I guess.

Never had incidents like that in 11 yrs., but after listening to all those stories about crazy/stupid/******-up pax, Iīm really looking forward to flying boxes.

Aluminium Tuber
25th Apr 2001, 20:11
This reminds me of 'A weekend at Bernie's'- what a great filum. :)

25th Apr 2001, 20:18
Not surprised that the passengers are seeking financial compensation - quite ridiculous. It's obvious they weren't very compassionate - it is actually a sad story...

And it also gives ICARUS a chance to blast Americans/Canadians. This guy loves to display anti-American comments whenever possible. Couldn't get a green card Icarus? Do us all a favor, use logic-oriented comments when you reply to posts. We don't need your political viewpoints here.

25th Apr 2001, 20:38
Well I wouldn't buy a box of cornflakes if there was a free green card in every box, that much is true.
Why do they call America the land of litigation - for the reasons written above; and it make me feel very sorry that such nationalities (predominantly) take such action under such sad circumstances, and as an out-sider that is all I have to form my opinions from. Plus all the rrst of the world sems to get is all the exports from America that didn't work there, but they think will work everywhere else, and they even make money from it.
If it is offensive - I am sorry - I do not intend to be. I acknowledge that I need to attend a few 'diplomacy' courses so the sensitive dont get too upset (another American thing) political correctness etc.
But again of it wasn't for such races to want to be so 'touchy/feely' then I wouldn't be percieved to have such a problem - would I?
I stand by all I have said in this thread and the EP3 thread, none of it is politic, it is all a simple human point of view; for the whole backed up by facts (US) people do not wish to acknowledge.
Perhaps that is where the real problem lies.
Back to the thread - it really is sad that people have to take such an attitude to what is obviously an uncomfortable and awkward situation for all on the aircraft. It seems to be that any opportunity for a buck is taken. Is that why they call the US 'The Land of Opportunity?'

25th Apr 2001, 21:36

Some airlines has a policy that nobody dies onboard during flight.

Let them "sleep" untill a doctor on the ground can pronounce 'em dead.

Litigation perhaps, or because only a doctor can say somebody is dead, not sure.

(Yup, some flights may happen to have a doctor onboard, but others flights may not.)

Men, this is no drill...

25th Apr 2001, 21:44
Hadnīt even thought of that...

Good point.
Absolutely correct!
Only a doctor can pronounce someone "dead".

Now just think of a scenario, when someone looks and feels dead, but isnīt?!
What if that person dies or becomes a cripple, because he was treated/handled as if dead.

So much for a humane approach with just a little common sense and empathy or maybe even compassion.
The FAs did the right thing.

Hew Jampton
25th Apr 2001, 21:50
Not strictly 'on-thread' but some years ago I was doing a charter return flight to the UK. Unfortunately, a man had died during his holiday and we were bringing his body back home in a coffin in the hold. His (new)widow was travelling as a passenger on the same flight. During the in-flight sale of duty-frees, the widow asked the FA whether, in addition to her own allowance, she could use her dead husband's allowance!

26th Apr 2001, 05:01
If the poor b****r was critically ill, why wasn't he on a stretcher with an attendant?

[This message has been edited by PPRuNe Towers (edited 26 April 2001).]

27th Apr 2001, 00:06

Take a peek at http://www.continental.com/tis/pdf/200105co-world.jpg
CO used to serve these islands with 727s (now 737NGs I think), so any one of them could prob accept a 747 in a pinch.

27th Apr 2001, 00:21
"a weekend with Bernie".....

:) :) :) :)

27th Apr 2001, 01:30
I used to fly air-ambulance in Lear Jets. Some patients didn’t make it. You knew they were in bad shape when they were boarded. It was still very sad when one died but everyone was prepared for that possibility.

An air-ambulance is the right way to transport these very sick people. They have all the medical equipment.

Most airlines do not allow medical oxygen to be carried and for good reason. Some patients need to be on oxygen. Taking them up to a cabin altitude of 8,000 feet without oxygen will kill some of them.

Air-ambulances are equipped to transport these very sick people in a way that helps ensure they will survive the trip. Apart from the oxygen they are equipped with IV’s, monitors, real hospital style defibrillators, even “iron lung machines” to assist the patient’s breathing.

I won’t get into the blood born pathogens and the other health risks other than to say air-ambulances are equipped to handle them and an airliner full of holidaymakers is not.

We don’t put critically sick patients on a bus or a train to send them to the hospital. Why would anyone put one on a passenger flight? We have ambulances and air-ambulances that do the job and they do it much better.

27th Apr 2001, 05:42
>>Well I wouldn't buy a box of cornflakes if there was a free green card in every box, that much is true.<<

Trust me, you wouldn't like it here.

But, like so many others from less fortunate countries, why are you so obsessed with things American? No need to feel so inferior, even if you weren't one of the chosen few to be born in the promised land. Be proud of who you are, just as I am proud to be an American.

I'm sure you probably couldn't get a green card but keep buying those cornflakes just in case, you never know...

[This message has been edited by Airbubba (edited 27 April 2001).]

27th Apr 2001, 05:48
>>During the in-flight sale of duty-frees, the widow asked the FA whether, in addition to her own allowance, she could use her dead husband's allowance!<<

Another tale of duty free and airline pax, I'm sure she cried all the way to the bank when she got home.

Eastern Airlines had a couple of evacuations in MIA years ago where the pax tried to climb back up the slides to get their duty free bottles when they realized the plane was not on fire.

27th Apr 2001, 08:37
Well said Richtofen...if somebody dies on the plane,do we really want FA's whose only concern seems to be what is said in the Ops Manual.My God...what are people coming to?
Was anything said for the poor man?
Icarus...you want to watch what you say you know.

27th Apr 2001, 09:48
I am glad icarus has the opportunity to lump these three selfish freaks into the "typical American/Canadian" bunch that he feels they belong. He might have noticed that i am sure the heavy these 3 were riding in was a little fuller than 3 irate passengers and a deal body. I am sure it had a couple of hundred people on board, and none of them had a problem with this gentleman. In fact, most of them probably genuinly felt bad the the old chap had expired and wouldn't have thought about compensation. Most likely what happened is that this family went home, complained to a family friend, who happened to be a lawyer, about a dead guy on the plane, and the lawyer convinced them that they deserved to get some money back. Either that or their economy class ticket wasn't cheap enough and they figured if they could get away with a free ticket, why not...
Just my 2 cents...

PS: just for your info icarus, the laws in canada concerning lawsuits are a little different then the ones in the states. This family wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting much more than the cost of their ticket and perhaps lawyers fees out of the deal in canada...not like the lady in the states who got millions for spilling hot mcdonalds coffee on her leg. In canada the compensation is reflective of what the people might actually deserve

Skip Undo
27th Apr 2001, 12:47
Unfortunately Players, the trans-border differences are becoming increasingly blurred - especially as agreements such as NAFTA effectively cede Canadian sovereignty to the US - remember the MMT case? (Where Canada was forced to pay Ethyl Corp $13 Million for loss of profits because it tried to ban MMT (methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl)

MMT is added to gasoline in place of tetraethyl lead -- then banned throughout Canada -- to prevent engine pinging. But many scientists believe it is also a dangerous neurotoxin. They assert that manganese absorbed by the lungs causes nerve damage leading to psychosis, memory loss and early death.

I'd also thought more recently that the $150K that Glen Clark (or more accurately BC taxpayers) had to fork out for some relatively harmless comments was manifestly excessive.

Nevertheless Players I do support your sentiments.

27th Apr 2001, 13:13
I heard the following story while I worked for EI. EI do a lot of charters to Lourdes during the summer months. You get a lot of sick people going there hoping for a miracle cure. Most of the tours are arranged by religious groups. Well the story goes that some nuns were accompanying a group of sick elderly people. One of the group who was in a wheelchair died at the airport while in the departure lounge. The nuns knowing that the man came from a poor family decided that it would save the family grief and money if they said nothing and carried the guy on the plane. As you are all aware they have specially adapted wheelechairs designed to move down the aisle of an aircraft. Well that's what they did. One of the nuns sat beside the man and even ate his meal so not to alert the cabin crew. Once the aircraft arrived in Dublin the nuns told the cabin crew he had passed away on the flight.
Might be true, might not be.

[This message has been edited by trustno1 (edited 27 April 2001).]

27th Apr 2001, 13:39
IMHO the anti-American/Canadian view regarding the litigation culture is now out dated, if it ever was appropriate. This example of uncaring people out to get something for nothing is indicative of the way western society is going in general. The fact that this process may have started in America is irrelevant.
With regard to this particular case, if the deceased was in such a critical condition and the flight crew was made aware of this, I'm sure they will have done all within their power to ensure as little disruption or inconvenience to the other passengers as possible. We must remember however in our service related industry that there are always "professional tourists" that will always try to get their holiday/travel costs re-imbursed by complaining. Shame the guy didnt make it though.

Edited fo finger trouble

[This message has been edited by Mishandled (edited 27 April 2001).]

gravity victim
27th Apr 2001, 13:46
What happens if he'd pegged out in First class? At the least I'd expect a fur-trimmed bodybag and a short, but moving service... :)

27th Apr 2001, 17:15
If I had just endured two weeks in Bali, I would also be VERY keen to continue home as soon as possible!
Been there once, and Iīd like to keep it that way!

28th Apr 2001, 00:18
Don't think we're in a position to criticise Americans for trying to make a quick buck. Brits are just as bad now.
eg some of the pax on the BA Nairobi flight/Kenyan student
eg the Airtours stewardess attacked by a drunken pax is now suing her company.