Aircraft passengers experience all kinds of surprises while flying according to a recent campaign by Wego, the leading travel metasearch engine in the Asia Pacific and Middle East.
According to some respondents a slight damper was put on their journey when a fellow passenger passed away during flight, in some ways reaching a far more final destination than they had intended. The most common reports were of heart attacks with one telling Wego that they assisted in resuscitation efforts which resulted in an elderly man’s survival, and another said she was so devastated by the death of a lady in front of her that it ruined her honeymoon for which she waited another six years to do over.
Some are even more unlucky with one respondent reporting a woman seated next to her who had just got married, suffering a heart attack while the entire cabin crew battled a stomach bug at the same time, resulting in the passenger sitting on the floor administering oxygen to the stricken bride for almost five hours. Another family experienced the jolt of receiving their grandmother’s postcards relaying her wonderful adventures arrive after she had passed away on her return flight.
While precise figures could not determine just how many people die mid-flight research indicates that numbers are very low. Most airlines move a deceased person to a spare row of seats, cover them with a blanket and place an oxygen mask on their face for appearances sake – fellow passengers comfort and reassurance always a priority. It’s reported that Singapore Airlines was the first and only airline with a so-called ‘corpse cupboard’ on their A340-500 aircraft for the safe and respectful storage of a deceased passenger.
On a brighter note, more respondents told Wego they’d witnessed the beginning of life while flying, thankfully with mid-air births a far more common sight.
Each airline has a variety of regulations for flying at certain stages of pregnancy yet some babies defy the rules and fly into this world, quite literally. One passenger’s flight from Darwin to Sydney was rerouted due to a woman going into labour, another welcomed a little baby girl aboard in the aisle. A flight from Dubai to Indonesia was rerouted to Mumbai after a tiny passenger not on the manifesto decided to enter the world, and another mother was incredibly
grateful that a fellow passenger happened to be a doctor when she went into labour mid-flight.
Wego’s research indicates that borders are blurred when it comes to deciding a baby’s citizenship when born on a plane although the United Nations mandates that they take the citizenship of the country where the aircraft is registered. Parent’s nationalities are also considered and the US grants citizenship to babies born within 12 nautical miles of the country.
Another birth of sort, although not mid-flight, was a passenger who reported flying from Vietnam to Singapore with ten European couples who were returning to their home countries with newly adopted babies about to begin a very fortunate new journey.
From the realms of the mysterious, one passenger was returning from a Whitsunday Islands holiday in Australia’s north and told Wego that he felt a kicking at the back of his seat only to turn and find the back rows empty, and the man who was captured by the beauty of a woman seated behind him who disappeared upon runway approach. The airline could provide no answers.