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AA-292 Fails To Alert DEL Of Pax With Flu Symptoms  
User currently offlineBoeing747_600 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1290 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7302 times:

Does anyone have any updated/more accurate information on this incident reported in the Times of India.

If true, it would appear to be a fairly serious lapse on the part of the AA crew.

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32183 posts, RR: 72
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7274 times:

More unneeded hysteria. I don't think AA crew did a single thing wrong. It's the flu, people need to get over it. And the swine flu isn't particularly more dangerous than the regular flu, which kills over 100,000 Americans annually.


a.
User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7260 times:

Not sure we have all the facts to hand here .... while a Doctor may have the benefit of experience and specialised knowledge , flu symptoms aren't always obvious ... either the AA crew didn't spend enough time with these two passengers to realise they were showing the relevant symptoms, or the two passengers in question weren't showing obvious signs of specifically having "flu" as opposed to a common cold or just a sore throat, or the symptoms were obvious and the AA crew didn't follow required procedure (which is what the article implies).

Not trying to excuse the crew but I can see how they may not have reported something they weren't sure of, or didn't believe was the case.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7345 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7259 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 1):
which kills over 100,000 Americans annually.

The CDC number is about 36,000 annually in the US.

But your overall point is correct.

Have crews from other airlines been warning DEL authorities about every passenger with a cough and possible fever for months - because the flu was spreading much worse two months ago.


User currently offlineBoeing747_600 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7234 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 3):
because the flu was spreading much worse two months ago.

Not really - it wasnt until 2 weeks ago that most people had even heard of swine flu.


User currently offlineBoeing747_600 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7207 times:



Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 2):
Not sure we have all the facts to hand here .... while a Doctor may have the benefit of experience and specialised knowledge , flu symptoms aren't always obvious ...

Precisely. Which is why I'm still hoping someone from AA ops with some knowledge of this incident will be able to shed some light on the matter.

If the pax were indeed observed to have had some sort of flu symptoms, then not alerting the authroties would be negligent, given the size of the population that could have been potentially exposed.


User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7171 times:

What do you think the odds are of having a group of 150 people without some of them having "flu like" symptoms? There's enough of this fear mongering garbage in the media without another knee jerk hysteria ninny trying to make something out of nothing.


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineAAce24 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 849 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7097 times:

If anything, the passenger should be the one to blame for traveling with the flu anyways.

Exposing everyone to it, is very selfish, IMO.


User currently offlineBoeing747_600 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7062 times:



Quoting AAce24 (Reply 16):
If anything, the passenger should be the one to blame for traveling with the flu anyways.

You're not going to get an argument from me about that! But pax will be pax, which is why carriers have an additional responsibility to ensure safety.

I still maintain though, that If the pax had demonstrated flu symptoms at the boarding gate at ORD, AA ought to have exercised due vigilance and not allowed them to board.


User currently offlineSancho99504 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 568 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6983 times:

I agree with most of the replies on here. I don't think this swine flu "PANDEMIC" is serious. They were raving about SARS in 2003 or 04 which wasn't as serious as the media made it out to be. I also don't think AA did anything wrong. It's the passengers own stupidity for traveling with flu like symptoms in the first place. It's selfish people like this that make things worse than they are.


kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7345 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4931 times:



Quoting Boeing747_600 (Reply 4):
Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 3):
because the flu was spreading much worse two months ago.

Not really - it wasnt until 2 weeks ago that most people had even heard of swine flu.

Looks like several replies have been deleted.

So I'll repeat myself.

I was speaking of the flu - Type A H1 and the other three variations currently active in the US, not just this Type A H1N1 version called the Swine Flu.

In mid-January and early February - over 30 US states and most European countries where at very high rates of infection. Near epidemic levels.

By the CDC numbers over 13,000 people have died of flu this year - 2009 - in the United States.

As is normal - 90% of the death occur in people over age 55, and half the others in young children. People with weakend immune systems are most susceptible.

Flu, including the swine flu, does not normally infect a healthy adult unless the person has prolonged exposure to someone who is in a contagious stage of the disease.


User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1798 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4337 times:

When the H1N1 hits India it's just going to mushroom because of the squalid and dense conditions of the very poor in and around the major cities. However, I have to agree with other people... this is much ado about nothing. Regular flu kills tens of thousands a year yet no one talks of a regular flu pandemic. Now this swine flu "pandemic" got people frightened around the world. I went to the grocery store yesterday to buy a bottle of hand sanitizer... sold out because some lady hours ahead of me bought every last bottle on the shelf (or so the cashier says).

I'm not sure thermal imaging at airports are reliable either. What if someone was running to make a connection? Their image is going to light up like a roman candle. Are authorities going to bar people from travel because they're a little sweaty? Nowadays airports and relaxation are mutually exclusive.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3481 times:

One point to remember is that the flu can come on very quickly. I once got up and 6:00 and felt fine. By 10:00, I wasn't feeling very well. By 1:00, I realized I had the flu. That's a span of 7 hours. It's certainly possible that the passengers in question boarded at ORD with no symptoms, but were showing symptoms, by the time the plane landed in DEL.

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18704 posts, RR: 58
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3443 times:



Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 2):
Not sure we have all the facts to hand here .... while a Doctor may have the benefit of experience and specialised knowledge , flu symptoms aren't always obvious ...

Well, I am a doctor and my answer to your post is: yeah they are. A flu patient looks sick as snot. A patient with a cold looks uncomfortable and miserable.

Big difference.


User currently offlineFLFlyGuy From United States of America, joined May 2004, 244 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3375 times:
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Well, whoever is at fault, it certainly isn't the flight attendant crew. This is the message we got from the company on 28APR:

" in-flight, when the Purser/F/As may notice pax that may indicate physician on call notification via the captain, please note this does not require any updates or changes to the gen dec form for the flight. The question on the form related to illness is when a known ill customer has been approved for travel at flight departure. Please continue to follow the normal operating procedures for completing the general declaration form for all flights.
Thank you for your cooperation."


So, even if the passengers did appear sick, according to AA we weren't supposed to list that on the General Declaration. Now, personally, I am not sure that makes sense, but that's what we have been told.



The views expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21417 posts, RR: 60
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3372 times:



Quoting Boeing747_600 (Reply 8):
But pax will be pax, which is why carriers have an additional responsibility to ensure safety.

carriers don't offer you a free deferral and refbook if you are sick, so if the question is "fly with the flu or waste $1000 or more" most people would fly with the flu...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3370 times:



Quoting FLFlyGuy (Reply 18):
So, even if the passengers did appear sick, according to AA we weren't supposed to list that on the General Declaration. Now, personally, I am not sure that makes sense, but that's what we have been told.

very interesting. I would like to know where AA says that notification should be made to authorities n the event of illness on board the flight.
Other FAs that can speak to the procedures on their int'l flights are welcome to contribute.


User currently offlineFrmrCAPCADET From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1690 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3276 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 19):
carriers don't offer you a free deferral and refbook if you are sick, so if the question is "fly with the flu or waste $1000 or more" most people would fly with the flu...

Just another example of "if the government does not regulate" private industry often tends not to do the right thing.



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineSankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2252 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3208 times:



Quoting Boeing747_600 (Thread starter):
The CDC number is about 36,000 annually in the US.

But your overall point is correct.

While I too feel the media is creating hysteria, we should not oversimplify the problem. The core issue is not the # of deaths, but the mortality (ie death) rate. If regular flu kills 36,000 out of 36M a year who get it, the death rate is 0.1%.

But if swine fly kills 70 people out of 700 who get it, then the death rate is 10%, or swine flu is 100 times more dangerous. So while the chances of getting it may not be high, the risk of death one you get it could be very high.

That is why the WHO etc are not taking any chances.


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3117 times:



Quoting Boeing747_600 (Thread starter):
If true, it would appear to be a fairly serious lapse on the part of the AA crew.

Airline crews are trained in airline safety, not to make medical diagnoses. They do not have the education necessary to distinguish between swine flu symptoms and an allergy. I would be extremely upset if an airline crew member stopped me from boarding because that crew member "suspected" me of having some particular ailment.

If the Indian (or any other government) is worried about incoming international passengers having any particular ailment, then it is up to that government to supply whatever procedures and personnel to screen for that particular ailment. Airlines personnel should not co-opted into performing tasks on behalf of governments that they are not educationally equiped to handle.

Should an airline employee stop an international passenger from boarding if the crew member suspects the passenger has AIDS? Many governments prohibit AIDS sufferers from entering their countries.

Airliner crews are flight and safety personnel, not health and police officials.


User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3114 times:



Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 19):
Airliner crews are flight and safety personnel, not health and police officials.

which is why all they are required to do is inform governmental officials if they are aware of any health problems on their flight. That's all they can be expected to do.


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3101 times:



Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 20):
which is why all they are required to do is inform governmental officials if they are aware of any health problems on their flight. That's all they can be expected to do.

But then you start down a slippery slope of what constitutes a "health problem"?

If I cough or sneeze during a flight, should I be reported upon arrival. If I am suffering from a hangover and arriving into a country that prohibits alcohol, should that also be reported? What if I have a skin rash? It could look like a symptom of many communicable diseases to a FA, but in fact would only be psoriasis. If I were reported to the authorities on this basis and refused entry, you can be sure that I would sure both the airline and the medically untrained FA upon my return to the USA.

Airline crews do not have the necessary medical background to be able to determine what a legitimate "health problem" is.

That is why every government has their own immigration and custome procedures, in order to look at each individual and package entering the country, to determine if they pose any sort of threat to thier community.

The airlines should not be undertaking any responsibility for determining the healthiness of their passengers, including the "reporting of suspects".


User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3091 times:



Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 21):
But then you start down a slippery slope of what constitutes a "health problem"?

I agree. Airline personnel should be limited to what they are TOLD by passengers about their health - not their assessment. Asking an FA to determine if the grimace on someone's face is because they having pre-term labor or a heart attack vs. just the emotions of travel is not something airlines should be expected to do.
But airlines do in fact have an obligation to report known health problems on their flights.


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4360 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3077 times:

The Hysteria about the mexican flu is mucgh more dangerous than the disease itself. But it is the ground for a multi billion dollar business. Drug industry is far more powerful and makes more $ than aviation industry.

No FA is a doctor and can diagnose a flu, resp the danger of a mexican flu. Countries that make such rediculous requirements just should be banned from flying there.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22309 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3027 times:

Quick question for those in the know in India about this paragraph from the article:

Quote:
It was a grave mistake on the part of the carrier to overlook such sick passengers even though it's now mandatory for airline staff to ask passengers about their health condition during the flight, identify those with influenza symptoms and report them to airport health officers before landing,'' one official said.

So are AI and IC going from row to row and individually quizzing passengers about whether they have flu-like symptoms?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
25 Aajfksjubklyn : The only thing spreading this flu was CNN, mass hysteria is right.
26 Boeing747_600 : It doesn't require a medical degree to establish that someone has flu-like symptoms.
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