MANY dramas can unfold in the air – and often people are taken ill when they’re on board a plane.
Last year a British woman died on UK-bound plane from Pakistan and in another case, a dead body was laid in aisle after a diabetic woman died on flight home from Turkey.
Travellers have shared their own experiences of people passing away in the air and some say their planes had “corpse cupboards” to store dead passengers until landing.
This was true of Singapore Airlines’ fleet of now-discontinued Airbus A340-500 aircraft, which all had a locker able to transport an average sized body.
But while not all aircraft have this space on board, staff are trained to discreetly handle the situation if it arises.
A Ryanair spokesperson told the Sun Online: “All Ryanair aircraft carry first aid equipment, in full compliance with EU safety regulations, and all crew are trained in first aid procedures, including defibrillators, which are carried on board.
“Should an incident occur in flight which requires medical intervention, our crew divert to the nearest suitable airport and request medical assistance to be on standby before landing.”
In many cases, bodies are moved to an empty row or business class, away from others on board, and are covered by a rug, but the procedure differs depending on the airline.
Attendant Annette Long said to Business Insider: “I would probably put a blanket over the person so it would become less of something to look at. You want to maintain dignity and respect for someone who passed away.
“You don’t want anyone staring at them. That would be really sad.”
Quora users have been sharing their own experiences of when this has occurred on their flights.
User Sue Jackman said her husband passed away on a long haul Air New Zealand flight between Los Angeles and Auckland.
She said: “We were in business class and he went to sleep in a lie flat sleeper seat and did not wake up.
“When he would not wake up I got a flight steward who then went and fetched a passenger who was a doctor.
“He performed the usual signs of life tests and declared him deceased approximately four hours prior to landing.
“He stayed in his sleeper seats covered with a blanket for the rest of the journey and I lay beside him and held him until we landed.
“Interestingly his death certificates states the place of death was Flight NZ5 between Los Angeles and Auckland.”
User Dave Samwell said: “In my hundreds of flights I had this happen once.
“On a long haul flight, if there are some spare seats, the cabin crew have a curtain they can put up around a section of three seats so they can get some rest.”
Meanwhile Ana Ansari said: “A woman sitting two rows behind me on an 11 hour flight from Frankfurt to Singapore had stopped breathing on the last leg of the trip.
The woman’s immediate neighbours were allocated new seats as they lay her across the row of seats.
“Once it was determined that there was nothing else they could do, they covered her body with a sheet (but not her face) and the flight carried on as per normal.”
We previously shared some more secrets that passengers don’t know, such as how service is best at the back and some are allowed to use tasers.