Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What you don't want to hear from the pilot....

"Is there a doctor or emergency medical technician onboard?"

This was the second clue of the day that my flight was going to be slightly out of the ordinary. I was enroute to SFO and after closing the doors to United 351, they re-opened them. Apparently due to a printer malfunction, they did not put enough fuel on the plane.... That cost us 30 minutes, no big deal.

Then we are airborne for maybe 25 minutes and the pilots asks for a doctor, seeing nobody jump up, he powers back the engines and starts our descent into Birhimgham, Alabama. Then the fun (not really) begins.

Apparently someone in first class had some heart issues, so we landed and what should have been a normal 15 minute delay to offload the passenger to an ambulance, turned into a 2 hour fiasco, because the passenger did not want to disembark !

Now, I don't want anyone to be denied medical treatment and I am not heartless, but for quite some time this person refused to get off the plane and apparently was forced to sign some disclosure papers basically saying "if you die up here, it is not our fault" as we tried to get you off the plane.

So, what should have been a nice 5 hour flight took approximately 8 hours. With many folks missing meetings and connecting flights.

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