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What Happens To An Ill Passenger After A Divert?  
User currently offlineFlyingfox27 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 425 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

Hi folks hope this in the right place.

I was reading a few trip reports and cases where flights diverted due to ill passengers and was wondering what happens to them after (assuming they make a full recovery). Iam thinking of these things.

1. If insured they get flown home by air ambulance.
2. Have to make their own way home somehow.
3. As they are not in the country legally are they confined to the hospital for a while.

I might be wrong but it must be awful to be the ill passenger concerned to intend to fly somewhere then fall ill, then wake up in a foreign hospital maybe thousands of miles from the destination or origin.

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineRichcandy From France, joined Aug 2001, 850 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3442 times:


If the passenger has insurance then they will use that to get home, so the insurance company would pay for an airline seat. If the passenger is unable to sit in a regular airline seat and needs to lie flat. Then as far as I remember they will need three rows of economy seating and insurance company would arrange to pay for this.

Insurance companies don't like paying for air ambulance and would only do so if they had to. I once had a client who was hit on the back by something falling of the roof of a van in Thailand. She was in hospital for a few weeks and wanted to get home. Her husband wanted the insurance company to pay for an air ambulance but they refused and made her wait until the airline I think it was BA had a flight with 9 seats (3 rows of economy) available.

If the passenger is not insured then its another issue and one which could cost the passenger a lot of cash. Or worse still us might tax payers a lot.

With regards to being in the country legally. I guess that will vary country to country, dependent on the visa rules. However if they are well enough to get up and go outside the hospital then I guess they are well enough to go home.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 29469 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3269 times:

Quoting Richcandy (Reply 1):
If the passenger is unable to sit in a regular airline seat and needs to lie flat. Then as far as I remember they will need three rows of economy seating and insurance company would arrange to pay for this.

Many airlines no longer handle stretcher cases. For example, following from the AC website:

In view of the limited demand for stretcher services, Air Canada no longer accepts stretcher bookings. Requests for this special service will be referred to government approved air ambulance operators.

User currently offlineVanguard From Solomon Islands, joined Feb 2004, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3225 times:
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This happened to my brother in law. He was on a QF flight from LHR to SIN and they had to divert to Delhi.

The Indian authorities obviously had plans for these eventualities (with regards visas) as he and my sister had no problems getting in and staying in Delhi for the few days they were there. Insurance covered the hospital treatment, and they were simply reticketed on another route to get back to Oz. Ok, it wasn't nice to have this happen (and my brother in law is fine now), but the mechanics of the emergency all went smoothly.

I gather it costs the airlines many £$£$£$ however in landing fees, fuel, delayed passengers etc.

User currently offlineAirIndia From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1757 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2947 times:

Quoting Vanguard (Reply 3):
£$£$£$ however

nothing against the cost of human life....... gud ur bro in law recoverd and had a nice time in Delhi.........

User currently offlineNWAESC From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3490 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

We had a flight divert in here the other day for a medical... We pulled the families' luggage, held it in our operations area, and then sent it out with them on their new flight a few days later. They're itinerary changed (obviously), but I'm pretty sure NW waived all of the rebooking fees.

"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
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