BA passengers share first class cabin with dead traveller

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Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
yikes!!!!! Every travelers nightmare. I think they could have covered his head though.

BA passengers share first class cabin with dead traveller | the Daily Mail

First Class travellers on a British Airways transatlantic flight were horrified when they were forced to sit next to a dead body for three hours.

The elderly passenger had died of a heart attack just minutes earlier and was carried into their cabin to continue the journey to America.

It followed a mid air drama in which a doctor and crew lost a 35 minute battle to resuscitate the man after he suffered a cardiac arrest in business class where he was travelling with his wife.

Four stewards and a fellow passenger then struggled to carry the deceased American in his seventies into their exclusive area - where tickets cost up to £6,669 return.

They propped him up in a semi-reclined position in one of just 14 of the seats - which can recline totally into a lie-flat bed - and which are set into individual pod-bays which also contain a TVs and a 'buddy stool' for chatting to fellow passengers.

It meant the First Class passenger in the remaining seats shared their remaining journey of about three hours with the man whose body - though not his head - was covered by a blanket and strapped into the individual pod seat.

The tragedy happened on BA Boeing 777 Flight 213 which left Heathrow from Boston at 10.30am carrying more than 200 passengers but details have just emerged.

The deceased American had been travelling with his wife in the Club Word business class section when he suffered his heart attack about three hours into the six hour flight.

The crew made an announcement calling for a medical doctor, and the stricken passenger taken into the galley area between business and first class where attempts were made to resuscitate him. But after more than half an hour he was declared dead.

The tragic case highlights the dilemma facing crews on a packed long-distance plane of what to do with a dead passenger - while balancing the dignity of the deceased with the distress of their family and the concerns of other often squeamish passengers.

One First Class cabin eyewitness - a senior computer executive in her 30s - said: 'It was a very strange and unsettling thing to experience.

'We were about half way into the flight and getting my head down to sleep when I heard a commotion from behind the curtain in first class.

'Stewardesses were running up and down the aisle. There was no panic but there was a sense of urgency. The staff were very professional.

'There was a call over the loudspeakers for a medical doctor. From where I was sitting towards the back of First Class I was aware of them performing resuscitation techniques behind the curtains as I tried to watch the in-flight movie - Mission Impossible III.'

'I felt quite uneasy. But some passengers were being very British about it and simply not acknowledging there was anything wrong.

'One of the stewardesses then came to me and said there was some rather bad news. There had been a death on board.

'She asked would I mind awfully moving to the other side of the cabin because they needed to bring the body in. The first class section was about 80 per cent full.

'Four male stewards came I carrying the poor chap who was in his 60s or 70s and casually dressed. But he was a bit too big for them. Another passenger lent a hand as they propped him up

'They wrapped him in a blanket and strapped him in and semi-reclined the seat. But his head was exposed and leaning to one said, as if he were asleep. I could see the top of his head throughout the flight.'

She added:'The chap's wife came in an sat with him on the little buddy stool at the bottom of the bay in front of the seat. She was very distressed. We could hear her sobbing.

'It's not very enjoyable when this happens. But the staff were very good.'

A spokesman for British Airways confirmed: 'Sadly, an elderly male passenger died on board BA flight 213 from Heathrow to Boston on Tuesday November 28.

'Our cabin crew and a doctor who was on board the flight did absolutely all they could to save the man and treated him for more than 35 minutes with coronary pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). But unfortunately he passed away.'

The BA spokesman added:'Our thoughts and condolences are with the passengers, family and friends - especially his wife - who was travelling with him.'

BA said the dead man was taken into First Class because business class was full.

The plane had 14 first class seats (and was 80 per cent full), 48 seats in business class, 40 in premium economy (called 'World Traveller) and 122 in economy.

The airline said there were about a dozen deaths aboard its planes each year - out of a total of 36million passengers.
I've experienced everything while flying. But that would take the cake.

"Sir would you like some wine with your dinner?"

"Oh yes, please, I'm starving."
You certainly would never forget it. Couldn't they just stuff him in an overhead or closet? And is it true that when dead that his bowels would have let loose? And I don't know what would be more disconcerting, seeing the dead guys face or being creeped out looking at a dead guy sitting next to you covered with a blanket knowing his eyes are open and mouth slack...waiting for him to move.

And do you think they reused that blanket for the next flight? I bet you a paycheck they did.
Wouldn't surprise me if they did...

Yeah, it wouldn't be something you would forget in a hurry and it is unlikely they would of put him in an overhead locker as they wouldn't take his weight and he would probably fall out on someone which is worse than him just sitting in a seat...

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