If you’ve flown for any length of time, you’ve doubtlessly experienced some of the horrors of air travel. For instance, I remember how a flight attendant continually woke my then-five-year-old son during a red-eye because he wanted to lay down on his seat rather than sit up.
They insisted on letting their 2-year-old child use a seat they paid for rather than give it to another passenger. The seat was originally for their teenage son, and the issue arose because they had transferred the ticket from one passenger to another. But that terrible tale pales in comparison to what happened on United flight 3466.
We might not know about any of it if Amy Hammond from Mason, Ohio, hadn’t whipped out her smartphone. According to KNXV, the troubles on the Dec. 9 flight started during takeoff.
A woman a few rows ahead of her had boarded with a young child. But as the plane rose into the air, something terrible began to happen.
The woman started to have seizures. And she didn’t have just one.
Over the course of the two-hour flight from Houston to Cincinnati, the woman seized “dozens of times.” She had a young child with her who sat by helplessly.
Fortunately, the woman wasn’t without help. A Good Samaritan who worked for a fire department stood by her side for almost the entirety of the flight, administering oxygen and keeping her upright.
“He 100 percent kept the plane calm,” Hammond said. “He kept us calm because he was so in control.”
The most shocking part of the whole ordeal was that the plane’s pilot reportedly refused to divert or ground the flight so that the woman could get medical attention. “She did not know who the president was or the month or day of the week by the end,” Hammond wrote on Facebook.
“I was the last one off the plane. I voiced my anger about the decision not to land. The pilot said he made the decision.”
Now we all know that diverting a plane isn’t as easy as we might think. Sometimes the fastest course is just to power through to the original destination.
However, when a medical emergency occurs during takeoff, it makes one wonder why a pilot would stick with the original plan. Aviation expert Jay Ratliff found the decision similarly baffling.
“Literally, not a day goes by of the 26,000 flights that we have operating domestically in the United States — every single day we have at least one diverted flight,” he explained to WXIX. “For an airline not to air on the side of caution in a situation like this, I find befuddling.
“I mean, to me, it is absolutely incogitable from the standpoint of an airline not doing what’s in the best interest of the passenger and that’s obviously the case here.” More than a few people share his opinion.
Once the plane landed, paramedics did attend to the woman. Republic Airline released a statement saying, “The decision to continue to the flight’s destination was made by our crew who did the right thing by working with medical personnel onboard.”
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