Flight attendants say deceased passengers can be put back in seats for landing

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    It’s not something people like to talk about but very rarely, people die while on a plane flight.

    Usually this has nothing to do with the flight itself, but rather a result of a medical emergency or old age.

    However, the macabre reports in recent weeks of people who have passed away mid-journey have raised questions.

    After all, most frequent flyers will say they’ve never been on a flight when someone has perished.

    READ MORE: Flight attendant explains 'hidden pin' behind toilet sign & dead bodies on board

    But, it seems that might not be the case as flight attendants are trained to deal with such an occurrence.

    Sheen Marie, a flight attendant on TikTok, explained what happens when someone dies mid-flight.

    She said: “If they have a heart attack and die, and there is nothing we can do about it, and we can't start CPR, we are just going to wait until we get to our final destination. We are going to keep that dead body where it is at.”

    If there happens to be enough room on the plane where a complete row is empty, preferably the back row, Sheen said the deceased would be moved there and “covered with a blanket”.

    Other passengers will not be told and will be allowed to leave the plane before medical professionals come on board.

    Family members of the deceased will be called and the plane is taken out of service.

    Over on Reddit, other cabin crew members chimed in with their knowledge of how to cope with a passenger who has passed.

    Sometimes it’s different – such as when the patient is having an active medical emergency.

    One flight attendant said: “Keep in mind that most of the time, the people who die don't just drop dead in their seats.

    “They collapse, we give them CPR, there's a doctor call, if it's serious enough we usually are already on our way rerouting to another airport and most of the passengers are aware that there's a medical emergency on board.

    “We are in constant communication with a doctor from the emergency services via the cockpit and he will be the one giving us instructions on when to stop CPR if he/she deems in necessary.

    “Otherwise we are instructed never to stop CPR (and other medical care) unless explicitly told so by a doctor or until we land anywhere and a medical team takes over.”

    However, if there is nothing that can be done for the person they have to follow their airline's procedures – and these can differ.

    The cabin crew member added: “If a passenger does die however, we do have to store the body, we're not going to leave it there. I’m on long haul, so keep in mind that the equipment available might not be present on every aircraft nor on every airline.

    “We do, however, often cross the Atlantic without the means to land for a few hours, so we do have to store the body for the remaining time.

    “We have a body bag, in our medical kit, and if possible we will wrap the body inside but always leave it open around the head, as it can only be closed by a doctor on duty (meaning not even a passenger that happens to be a doctor)."

    They added that "technically speaking storing a body during a flight is really not a problem" as their aircraft have crew rest spaces where they can lie down the deceased.

    Unfortunately, this changes upon landing.

    The flight attendant noted: “Our crew rest beds are not certified for landing. He needs to be maintained by a safety belt, for other passenger's safety.

    “If you can, you free up a row in the rear of the aircraft. If you have other seats available, great.

    “If not, well, the person obviously had a seat on board. So we move people around until we have freed up a seat in the last row.”


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