JAM747
Topic Author
Posts: 524
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:17 am

Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:10 pm

When an airliner has to make a diversion or unscheduled stop due to a medical diversion, who pays for the diversion expense? Do airlines have an insurance for this? or does the sick patent's insurance ( if they have one) pay? Also if someone gets ill on board, but do not require emergency treatment ,and the plane continues to the intended destination, is the airline required to follow a route which brings it closer to possible diversion airports incase the passsenger gets worse? The reason I ask this is because the last time I flew from MBJ to JFK I heard the " is there a doctor on board call? " because someone was having seizures . We did not have to make an emergency landing so we continued to JFK . However I noticed that once we were in reach of the US mainland we flew over land the rest of the time. I have done this flight many times and normally the fight travels along the U.S coast most of the way. I am not sure if the overland flight was because of a possible need to land incase this person got worse. Thanks
 
Ih8b6
Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:38 am

RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:19 pm

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
When an airliner has to make a diversion or unscheduled stop due to a medical diversion, who pays for the diversion expense?

We do...the airline. See we do some nice things!  Smile

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
Also if someone gets ill on board, but do not require emergency treatment ,and the plane continues to the intended destination, is the airline required to follow a route which brings it closer to possible diversion airports incase the passsenger gets worse?

Not required. The pilot and the dispatcher would decide if this is the best option. If a reroute would cause a major change to the route, using lots of fuel (possibly more then we have onboard), then no route change.

In the US it seems to me (other pilots and dispatchers chime in here...), that the medical emergency always happens over Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Neveda, New Mexio or Arizona...i.e...where there is no where to land!
Over-moderation sucks
 
JAM747
Topic Author
Posts: 524
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RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:27 pm

Quoting IH8B6 (Reply 1):
n the US it seems to me (other pilots and dispatchers chime in here...), that the medical emergency always happens over Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Neveda, New Mexio or Arizona...i.e...where there is no where to land!

Thanks IH8B6 for your reply. I believe the passenger on my flight had his seizure while we were over or very close to Cuba. For a while I wondered incase it was serious would an American carrier make an medical emergency landing in Cuba or try to reach Florida or go back to Jamaica as both are not far from Cuba.
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:15 pm

RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:38 pm

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
who pays for the diversion expense?

I hate to think of the bad press an airline would get if they billed someone who got sick the price of the diversion.

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
Also if someone gets ill on board, but do not require emergency treatment ,and the plane continues to the intended destination

I believe all airlines have some affiliation with a medical service that will support and advise when they are airborne. We use one, if there is an airborne medical emergency the pilot can relay the symptoms to this service and they will advise what should be done, continue, or divert.

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
is the airline required to follow a route which brings it closer to possible diversion airports incase the passsenger gets worse?

No. But comon sense says that if you can alter your route to keep you closer to possible divert fields that would be the thing to do.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
dc10s4ever
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:46 am

RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:42 pm

The airlines absorb the cost. Now if the diversion is due to a misconduct of a passenger, and the pilot diverts to kick the offender off, then that passnger had better dust off their checkbook!
 
Ken777
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RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:46 pm

The one diversion I have been on was about 3 or 4 hours into a HKG-LHR BA flight. It was actually a FA that got rather sick and the decision was made to return to HKG because of the lack of hospitals for quite a few hours ahead of us. Nice overnight at the airport hotel, bit more time in HK and back on the same flight 24 hours later - while the FA remained in the HK hospital. Not a problem for me or any other reasonable person.
 
thegooddoctor
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:12 am

RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:52 pm

Quoting IH8B6 (Reply 1):
In the US it seems to me (other pilots and dispatchers chime in here...), that the medical emergency always happens over Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Neveda, New Mexio or Arizona...i.e...where there is no where to land!

I'm not sure this I can substantially refute this, however, as an anecdote I have been in the ops center for MedAire (one of the larger inflight medical advisory companies for commercial airlines - based in Phoenix, AZ) and the medical emergencies I watched were pretty well distributed pretty evenly across the country. Also, there was a number (not surprising) of flights crossing the atlantic/pacific.

However, these states all happen to be rather large, with fewer cities, so that probably explains why you might see lots of medical diversions to say LAS or PHX (since these are the biggest places between Dallas and LA...?)

But, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, NM, and AZ all have A) capable commercial airports for aircraft of all sizes and B) hospitals with tertiary referal services (medi-speak for hospitals with trauma/highest level of specialty services in a hospital). Places like PHX, LAS, DEN, SLC, and OKC in particular possess some of the better medical resources out west (multiple trauma centers per city, university medical systems, etc).
The GoodDoctor
 
Ih8b6
Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:38 am

RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:04 pm

yes....OKC is a popular stop. But Gooddoctor, you are right. It's mainly because these are large states with some distance between the cities. Most of the rest of the country if you have any emergency you can be on the ground quickly!
Over-moderation sucks
 
luketenley
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:51 am

RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:04 pm

We just had a WN flight diverted to PIT because someone had a massive heart attack during the flight.
Pittsburgh International Airport lover
 
TheCheese
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:39 am

RE: Medical Emergency Diversons, Who Pays?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:25 pm

It would surprise me not at all to find that most major airlines carry insurance to pay for the costs incurred in this kind of thing. It happens often enough that the costs would be a little much for the airline to just eat, but not so often that an insurance underwriter wouldn't be willing to write a cheap policy on it.

If the policy premiums are less than the amount of costs associated with diversions in an average year, it would be cost-effective for both parties.