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flyiguy
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Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Wed May 13, 2015 6:46 pm

A woman traveling from MSY to MKE got a startling text from her husband asking for forgiveness prior to taking his own life. The woman attempted to make a call and was told by the FA making her final checks prior to departing MSY that she needed to turn it off or put it in airplane mode...She arrived in MKE and called the police only to discover her husband had taken his own life and now blames the WN crew for not allowing her to make the call...

Heres the link

http://consumerist.com/2015/05/13/so...cy-call-to-husband-before-he-died/

FLY
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Tugger
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Wed May 13, 2015 6:48 pm

Quoting flyiguy (Thread starter):
A woman traveling from MSY to MKE got a startling text from her husband asking for forgiveness prior to taking his own life. The woman attempted to make a call and was told by the FA making her final checks prior to departing MSY that she needed to turn it off or put it in airplane mode...She arrived in MKE and called the police only to discover her husband had taken his own life and now blames the WN crew for not allowing her to make the call.

A very sad situation but it is a nonsense lawsuit. If was that important to the wife she could have made a big scene and forced the plane back to the gate.

At least that is what I would do if I were faced with such a situation.

Tugg
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There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
bennett123
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Wed May 13, 2015 6:58 pm

Not sure if it would be appropriate to interrupt the flight crew when the text came through.

However, surely the pilot could call the ground once at cruise altitude.

It may have been too late by then, but we will never know for sure.

I suspect had made a scene, they would simply have called the Cops.
 
D L X
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Wed May 13, 2015 7:00 pm

Oof. That's a tough one. If I were her, I would have made the call anyway, I think. BUT I think WN could have handled that better. I have to wonder if they could have called down from the cockpit, and gotten a hold of the authorities on the ground to check it out.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Wed May 13, 2015 7:08 pm

I can only imagine her pain at her loss...BUT...two things come to mind:
1. If she really had it on while the plane was gearing up for takeoff, then she obviously ignored the repeated cabin crew announcements to put the phone into airplane mode. I know a lot of us don't adhere to that, but still...it won't look good on her during a trail if she does go through with a suit.
2. If it were me, I would have demanded to be let off the plane immediately if they refused me to make that call...even if it meant going back to the gate. Obviously, I can't even speculate as to her mental state...I can only speculate as to my reaction.


From the article:
But a flight attendant making her final checks told her she had to turn her phone off or put it in airplane mode, and “slapped the phone down,” the passenger says.

I'm calling complete BS on the slap. This lawsuit will be completely tossed out as frivolous.
 
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Wed May 13, 2015 7:33 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 2):
I suspect had made a scene, they would simply have called the Cops.

And that would have been fine appropriate. I'd want them to meet me at the gate so I could explain to the cops what was happening so they could get someone to my spouse ASAP!

Quoting D L X (Reply 3):
Oof. That's a tough one. If I were her, I would have made the call anyway, I think. BUT I think WN could have handled that better. I have to wonder if they could have called down from the cockpit, and gotten a hold of the authorities on the ground to check it out.

Does an airline or any business really want to get into such a situation? What if they did it and the relay took a bit too long? Are they now culpable? What if one spouse really hated the other and just wanted to make the others life miserable and just told a fake story (but of course I "honestly thought I heard him say he was going to kill himself but I had to turn off my phone!")?

No, I think it must be up to the person/passenger on board to take action if something life threatening occurs. As I said, if the cops are at the gate it means the message gets to them just that much faster (in fact I suspect the crew would communicate something along the lines of "She is screaming about her husband calling her to say he was going to kill himself and now she won't sit down or obey crew instructions!").

It is a truly sad situation but this woman is looking in the wrong place to find absolution or any kind of answer for why her husband took his own life.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
silentbob
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Wed May 13, 2015 8:10 pm

WN didn't kill him, nor did they give him reason to kill himself. People really need to stop using the legal system as a lottery.
 
redflyer
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 2:42 am

How does this woman know that she could have saved him if she had been allowed to make the call? What would have been the outcome if the cabin crew allowed her to make the call and the guy still off'd himself...who would she blame then?

The timing of his text is telling in that it appears it was intended to ensure she couldn't do anything about the situation...almost appears as though the husband waited until the plane pushed back from the gate before sending the text to ensure she wouldn't receive it until it was too late to do anything, or that she would receive it after landing.

WN's cabin safety procedures, as well as those of other airlines, are intended to ensure compliance with the law, which in turn are intended to ensure passenger safety. If she's looking for someone to blame her husband's death on - besides her husband or, dare I say, even herself - then it should be the FAA, not the airline.

Quoting silentbob (Reply 6):
WN didn't kill him, nor did they give him reason to kill himself. People really need to stop using the legal system as a lottery.

  
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
D L X
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 2:58 am

Quoting Tugger (Reply 5):
Does an airline or any business really want to get into such a situation?

NOBODY wants to be in that business. But that doesn't mean it's not something one can do.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 5):
What if they did it and the relay took a bit too long? Are they now culpable?

No.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 5):
What if one spouse really hated the other and just wanted to make the others life miserable and just told a fake story (but of course I "honestly thought I heard him say he was going to kill himself but I had to turn off my phone!")?

That's a lot of what-if there...

Quoting silentbob (Reply 6):
WN didn't kill him, nor did they give him reason to kill himself. People really need to stop using the legal system as a lottery.

Where do you see anything about a lawsuit?
 
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 3:48 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
But that doesn't mean it's not something one can do.

Which is fine but the woman herself could have something, she certainly could have done more, and ultimately she is the one most responsible to do something, anything more since is most aware of and familiar with the person involved.

Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
That's a lot of what-if there...

That's "what if's" work....

What if you get a call that a contract you just signed was just discovered to have a fault and a multi-million dollar deal is going to fall through?
What if your house just caught fire and someone texted you to let you know?
What if a disaster just struck across the world and someone called you to see if you were available as your and the best expert on whatever and peoples lives were in the balance.
What if....

Well, you get the idea, there are thousands of situations that could occur and you become aware of in last seconds before you are required to turn off and stow your items. But it is your responsibility to determine if something else must be done and act accordingly (even if that means you get in trouble with the airline or authorities or just the passengers around you).

Again, if my spouse called me and said something like that, and I believed that they were serious, then I am the one that must do something. Maybe I do convince the crew that they need to make a call, or let me finish mine, but I have to make that clear and make that happen. And if they refuse then I take whatever actions I deem are appropriate to deal with the situation.

I get it, she is feeling horrible guilt. She hung up and didn't insist on doing something against the crews directions, rather than doing more to save her husbands life (not that she actually could have).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
D L X
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 4:43 am

Quoting Tugger (Reply 9):
Which is fine but the woman herself could have something, she certainly could have done more, and ultimately she is the one most responsible to do something, anything more since is most aware of and familiar with the person involved.

SURE she could! No doubt. But you're taking yours and my clear headed thoughts, and trying to shove them into a space that these good thoughts don't fit: I can barely imagine how clearheaded I would be if my wife texted me a suicide note. I would need someone to guide my every move. I would be damn near 100% disabled.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 9):
That's "what if's" work....

Only if you assume that ANY what-if that fits your metric means you shouldn't do it. Personally, I'd err on the side of saving a life. If I later find out that someone is crying wolf, THAT'S when I drop the damn hammer on them. But if there's something I can do that could save a life, I don't know about you, but I'm gonna do it.
 
F9Animal
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 6:35 am

I honestly can't throw the blame on the crew here. Perhaps this might bring a change to how crews respond to situations like this in the future? It is incredibly sad, and very heart wrenching! I feel so bad for this lady, and I understand why she is so upset. In fact, I am dealing with my brother-in-law's suicide at this very moment. He shot himself last week, and leaves behind my sister, and their 3 beautiful young children. Unless you have ever experienced such a tragedy, it is impossible to comprehend the grieving process of the significant other. The guilt, the anger, and the blame is incredibly real. Her actions don't shock me at all, as I am part of the punching bag for my sister right now.

If anyone on these forums ever considers suicide, please.... Please!!! Contact me first. It is a long term solution for a temporary problem. If you don't contact me, please, contact someone who will listen, offer advice, and give you every reason to live.

Sorry for the rant...... I can't believe how horrible suicide is for a family.  
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Lofty
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 8:25 am

How do you think the crew must feel. They could have allowed her to make the call but I assume they thought it was not real so chose not to act on it.

Over my time I have had to prevent aircraft from taking off, as long as they are not rolling down the runway a quick call to the tower and they will park them up on a taxiway, until we decide to bring them back on stand or to continue.
 
CplKlinger
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 11:32 am

I can't place a lot of blame on the crew for this here. If the passenger didn't adequately express what's going on, how is the crew to know that it's serious. They've probably heard every excuse in the book for customers on phones. My wife has battled depression for a long time, and occasionally had suicidal thoughts. If my wife sent a text like that to me before a flight, you'd be damned sure I'd grab a crew member and quietly inform them that my wife might be about to end her life and either they would take me back to the gate and let me off, or I'm going out an emergency door, but either way I'm getting off that plane. I'm pretty sure that any crew member told that would be getting the plane back to the gate in a hurry, and would be genuinely concerned. You can't expect a crew member to read your mind.

[Edited 2015-05-14 05:11:35]
 
ORDJOE
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 11:47 am

I can't blame the crew here. This lady needed to get off the plane, call the local police. Malus at least for me I lose signal anyway within a minute of take off, so even if she stayed on the phone how much longer could she have talked.

I have lost two friends to suicide, and yes it is hard. I just do not see how it is wn duty to get in the middle of these things and break faa rules.
 
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Classa64
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 12:36 pm

What's suing WN going to accomplish now? Very sad it happened and I am sure the crew, now that aware, understand the seriousness of the lady wanting to call. But at the time they have rules to follow so blaming them is no help to anyone. I am sure any crew member if shown the text would have tried to help in some way? I guess if the lady dialed 911 they would have had to stop the plane, not sure. Sad all around.
"Freedom is the miles i'm rolling on"
 
ozark1
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 1:08 pm

Highly highly doubtful that the FA "slapped the phone down". Embellishment that social media will love. I would feel totally helpless. Explain the situation and stay on the phone. FA would have gone to cockpit and they could determine what to do. FA was just doing her job, but I am pretty certain that once the cockpit was notified, something would have been accomplished..and I believe it would have been to allow her to stay on the phone. In a situation like this, where a life is involved, there is no way i would cut off my connection..especially when i know people are still doing it all over the plane.
 
D L X
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 1:54 pm

Quoting Classa64 (Reply 15):
What's suing WN going to accomplish now?

Where do you see that anyone is suing?
 
zrs70
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 2:03 pm

You can't blame crew.

You can't blame widow.

Whole thing is so, so sad.

Suicide is so much more complex then pointing the finger. We all will ask, "could I have done more?" But when it comes down to it, the person who took his/her own life was in such a dark space.
20 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2020
 
QualityDr
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
Where do you see anything about a lawsuit?

It's America. Southwest has deep pockets. Blame has been publicly stated, and to my eyes, in such as way as to lay the groundwork for litigation.

There'll be a lawsuit, dimes to donuts...
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. -- Mark Twain
 
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Tugger
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 3:28 pm

You are contradicting yourself:

Quoting D L X (Reply 10):
SURE she could! No doubt. But you're taking yours and my clear headed thoughts, and trying to shove them into a space that these good thoughts don't fit: I can barely imagine how clearheaded I would be if my wife texted me a suicide note. I would need someone to guide my every move. I would be damn near 100% disabled.

.

Quoting D L X (Reply 10):
Only if you assume that ANY what-if that fits your metric means you shouldn't do it. Personally, I'd err on the side of saving a life. If I later find out that someone is crying wolf, THAT'S when I drop the damn hammer on them. But if there's something I can do that could save a life, I don't know about you, but I'm gonna do it.

You say you can't count on someone to do everything in their power to do something due to shock then you say they/you would do everything in your power to save someone. Which is it? Can you do it or not? If you can't, how can you expect others to pick up the slack in a situation where it all depends on you communicating something when you've shut down out of shock? How are others supposed to help?

And yes, I agree with you that I would do everything in my power to help someone that needed help.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 11):
I honestly can't throw the blame on the crew here. Perhaps this might bring a change to how crews respond to situations like this in the future? It is incredibly sad, and very heart wrenching! I feel so bad for this lady, and I understand why she is so upset. In fact, I am dealing with my brother-in-law's suicide at this very moment. He shot himself last week, and leaves behind my sister, and their 3 beautiful young children. Unless you have ever experienced such a tragedy, it is impossible to comprehend the grieving process of the significant other. The guilt, the anger, and the blame is incredibly real. Her actions don't shock me at all, as I am part of the punching bag for my sister right now.

If anyone on these forums ever considers suicide, please.... Please!!! Contact me first. It is a long term solution for a temporary problem. If you don't contact me, please, contact someone who will listen, offer advice, and give you every reason to live.

Sorry for the rant...... I can't believe how horrible suicide is for a family.  

My very deep condolences for your and your family and especially the children. I can only imagine how horrible it must be.

Quoting CplKlinger (Reply 13):
I can't place a lot of blame on the crew for this here. If the passenger didn't adequately express what's going on, how is the crew to know that it's serious. They've probably heard every excuse in the book for customers on phones. My wife has battled depression for a long time, and occasionally had suicidal thoughts. If my wife sent a text like that to me before a flight, you'd be damned sure I'd grab a crew member and quietly inform them that my wife might be about to end her life and either they would take me back to the gate and let me off, or I'm going out an emergency door, but either way I'm getting off that plane. I'm pretty sure that any crew member told that would be getting the plane back to the gate in a hurry, and would be genuinely concerned. You can't expect a crew member to read your mind.

  

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 16):
Highly highly doubtful that the FA "slapped the phone down". Embellishment that social media will love. I would feel totally helpless. Explain the situation and stay on the phone. FA would have gone to cockpit and they could determine what to do. FA was just doing her job, but I am pretty certain that once the cockpit was notified, something would have been accomplished..and I believe it would have been to allow her to stay on the phone. In a situation like this, where a life is involved, there is no way i would cut off my connection..especially when i know people are still doing it all over the plane.

And even if an FA did "slap down the phone", that is when you need to step up and say something. I understand what DLX is saying, someone might go into to shock but you can't fault others "not helping" when they just don't know if you haven't communicated somehow that something is happening that needs addressing. .

I am only guessing that the woman herself didn't think it was that bad, that perhaps she worried about it but it had happened before but he had not followed through. SO when the FA said to put the phone away, she did and now forever regrets her actions. Regrets that she didn't do more, wishes others had done more, wishes others had helped her.

It is horrible to live with such thoughts. With suicides the one thing I have heard is that forever after those that loved the person are trapped with the "what if" and "If only" thoughts. You can't do anything but you wish you could have saved the person life somehow.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
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Classa64
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 4:25 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 17):

Sorry I meant to write Blame but had sue in my head, to quick to post.
"Freedom is the miles i'm rolling on"
 
viasamsy
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 6:06 pm

As a suicide survivor (my partner of twelve years committed suicide August 17th 2014) there is probably nothing she could have done knowing her husband had fallen into such terrible state of mind.
I am sure she, as I daily do, blames herself for not having done more and safe his life. Guilt is a constant in my life although I am clear that this ultimate decision was his own.
I feel so much sorrow when I read stories like this. I hope she finds comfort and solace and will be able to understand that WN has no fault in this tragedy.
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nonrevman
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 7:05 pm

This is definitely one of those stories where we do not have all of the facts. Some things I would be curious about:

Exactly when did she receive the text? Was it right after the boarding door closed and they were still at the gate, or were they already on the taxiway (when the phone should have already been off)?

Did the husband show this type of behavior before and this is typical of him, or did she really in her gut know something was wrong?

How did he take his life? If it was quick like a gunshot, this was not preventable. If it was taking a bunch of sleeping pills, then maybe someone could have gotten to him in time.

There are far too many variables to us to try and deduce whether the situation was preventable by a phone call. Needless to say, that had to be the longest two hours of her life. I kind of get the feeling like the husband made up his mind and picked that exact moment to commit suicide, because he knew that no one could stop him.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 8:15 pm

Quoting Tugger (Reply 9):

Calling 911 may have saved his life. Maybe not stopped the attempt but changed the outcome.

Quoting nonrevman (Reply 23):

The rules have changed. You can have them on during taxi.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
apfpilot
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 8:50 pm

There is no reason that the crew couldn't have done something to get her in a position to make the phone call. Return to the gate, if it turns out that she was lying then have her arrested for interfering with a flight crew. If it is real then they've possibly just saved a life. For those who are saying that she should have made a scene to try to stop the flight from departing. Let's assume she does that, there is a better than small chance that someone on the flight might have tackled her and then not only would she not be able to make the call there is no guarantee that she wouldn't be injured in the ruckus.

Also, why didn't the cabin crew contact the cockpit as WN states here: "“Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time. Flight attendants are trained to notify the Captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers on-board. In this situation, the pilots were not notified.”
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D L X
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 9:10 pm

Quoting QualityDr (Reply 19):
It's America. Southwest has deep pockets. Blame has been publicly stated, and to my eyes, in such as way as to lay the groundwork for litigation.

There'll be a lawsuit, dimes to donuts...

That's particularly poor logic. What would be the cause of action?

Quoting Tugger (Reply 20):
You say you can't count on someone to do everything in their power to do something due to shock then you say they/you would do everything in your power to save someone. Which is it? Can you do it or not?

You misunderstand me, I think.

In the first quote, I'm agreeing with you that the AGGRIEVED WOMAN is capable of helping herself somehow, but I'm making the point that in her emotional state, you're asking too much of her to be solely responsible for dealing with the situation.

In the second quote, I'm talking about the CREW being capable of helping out, but failing to do so. In this case, you're asking too little of them -- while they do not bear any responsibility to help, this was a very good opportunity for them to be the good Samaritan.

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 25):
There is no reason that the crew couldn't have done something to get her in a position to make the phone call. Return to the gate, if it turns out that she was lying then have her arrested for interfering with a flight crew. If it is real then they've possibly just saved a life.

  
 
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Tugger
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Thu May 14, 2015 9:43 pm

Quoting nonrevman (Reply 23):
I kind of get the feeling like the husband made up his mind and picked that exact moment to commit suicide, because he knew that no one could stop him.

That is how it often happens. To put not to fine a point on it, it is what happened with the GermanWings flight. The FO waited until he was alone and no one could stop him.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 24):
Calling 911 may have saved his life. Maybe not stopped the attempt but changed the outcome.

Yes, that would have been the smartest thing to do.
But you don't need the crew to allow you to do that. You simply do it.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
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IslandRob
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Fri May 15, 2015 12:07 am

Quoting Tugger (Reply 27):
But you don't need the crew to allow you to do that. You simply do it.

Exactly. In life or death situations, you do what you have to do, rules and consequences be damned. -ir

[Edited 2015-05-14 17:09:01]
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faugusto0264
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RE: Woman Blames WN Crew For Husbands Death

Mon May 18, 2015 9:01 am

The issue here, for me, is not a possible lawsuit. It is pretty much obvious to me that there is a fair chance that this situation could be avoided if the crew acted with a minumum of common sense in this case. What REAL warm to flight security could result from a quick phone call at that moment ? If they allowed the pax to make the call a security rule would be broken, but a death could be avoided. No one can be 100 % sure, but even if there is a 0,001 % possibility of success they should go on and allow the call: it does need to be a genius to figure out this would not endanger the aircraft, crew or other passengers.

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