If a passenger falls ill on a flight, the airline some times are forced to make an emergency diversion to a nearby airport. Costing that airline thousands.
But what's a few thousand quid when you're saving a life? Sometimes airlines can get lucky and one of the passengers on board will be a doctor who is able to monitor the situation and assess whether the patient would be able to make it to the destination instead of needing to make a diversion. This saves the airline thousands. Airlines usually reward these volunteers who help out in emergencies with free flights.
Dr Edward Southall treated a fellow passenger on an easyJet flight to Greece recently. He was given a complimentary coffee afterwards but was asked to pay £1.20 for the accompanying Kit Kat.
Dr. Southall was sitting in the front row when: "The senior cabin crew member stood right next to me when he phoned through to the flight deck and said ‘A woman is seriously ill and we may have to consider diverting’. A moment later a call came over the PA asking if a doctor or nurse was on board and I responded immediately.”
He was asked to attend to an elderly Greek lady: “She was very pale and sweating, and appeared breathless and distressed. With the aid of the on-board emergency kit, I was able to listen to her chest, take her blood pressure and pulse and generally assess her condition.
“I explained to the crew that I felt it was possible to monitor her for a while and continue to Greece without diverting to another airport."
The woman's condition improved as the flight went on and she was eventually able to sleep. Shortly afterwards, when the catering trolley appeared, Dr Southall asked for a coffee and a KitKat. The senior cabin-crew member said that he could have a free hot drink but must pay £1.20 for the KitKat.
After the demanding journey, Dr. Southall contacted EasyJet's public affairs office to find out what their policy was on recognising health professionals who volunteer to help other passengers.
“I believe my intervention helped avoid an emergency landing. It therefore saved the company thousands of pounds. Was it therefore appropriate or proportionate that I should be offered a free coffee but be asked to pay for the KitKat?”
It may sound like Southall was looking for some free Kit Kat's here but he insists it's the principle rather than the snub of free chocolate that stings here. He potentially saved the airline thousands of money.
EasyJet initially ignored his email but when Dr. Southall contacted The Independent to tell his story, they released a statement to apologise and to say that they'd like to reward him with complimentary flight.
Via The Independent