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EasyJet Passenger Gets Sick on Vacation, Dies On Flight

EasyJet Passenger Gets Sick on Vacation, Dies On Flight
Jackie Reddy

An EasyJet passenger died on a flight from London to Malaga earlier this week. The woman has been named as 64-year-old Ann Rudkin, who is reported to have passed away as the flight landed in Spain. According to an eyewitness account, Rudkin was suffering from a severe chest infection when she died.

An EasyJet passenger died on a flight from London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) to the Spanish city of Malaga earlier this week, reports. The woman, who has been named as 64-year-old Ann Rudkin, is reported to have passed away upon landing in Spain.

The incident took place on March 4th onboard EasyJet Flight 8609.

It is reported that Ms.Rudkin was suffering from what MailOnline describes as a “severe chest infection” that she had contracted while on a cruise in the Caribbean.

Jacob Rodgers, another passenger on the same flight, interacted with Ms. Rudkin prior to her death and was seated near her on the flight.

“I met Ann in special assistance in a wheelchair as I was needed help with my broken foot. She had a severe chest infection and said she’d just flown into Gatwick at around 4:30 am from a Caribbean cruise. She said she picked up the illness on the boat,” he explained to the latter outlet.

Rodgers added, “When we boarded the plane we asked her if she wanted window or aisle she said window in case she wanted to sleep. She’d been vomiting water and couldn’t keep anything down the last two days and she had caught a terrible chest infection on the previous flight.”

Rodgers, who was traveling with his girlfriend, observed that Ms. Rudkin’s breathing was labored during the flight.

As the plane landed, it became apparent that Ms. Rudkin had died. Despite the couple urgently summoning cabin crew for assistance, staff were unable to revive the passenger.

Adding her comments, Jessica, Rodgers’s girlfriend, said, “We do not know if her death was avoidable or not but the lack of care from EasyJet were worrying, to say the least especially as she had identified her chest infection to at least five points of contact of the airport staff and members of the cabin crew when boarding.”

A spokesperson for EasyJet confirmed the incident, saying, “The cabin crew assisted by doctors onboard provided first aid and on arrival emergency services attended to provide medical care however the passenger sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the passenger and we have offered support and assistance at this difficult time.”

The added, “Our ground staff and crew will not allow any passenger to travel should they believe they are unwell and unfit to travel.”

[Source: pxhere]

View Comments (10)


  1. SeaD0c

    March 8, 2019 at 7:23 am

    As a physician, why was this woman with a likely communicable respiratory infection allowed on the plane to begin with? Sadly, had someone taken her off the plane to provide medical intervention, she’d be alive today. If you’re sick, don’t fly!

  2. landwatersky

    March 8, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Thank you, SeaD0c.

    Did you hear the ‘girlfriend’s’ insinuation that somehow the airline must be at fault in some way?

    What does this idiot think the airline could have done without an illegal full medical workup on the woman before she boarded?

  3. got2scuba

    March 8, 2019 at 8:06 am

    People should recognize that an airplane is a bad place to have a medical emergency. In the case of this woman, she was subjected to the rapid reduction of oxygen on an airplane (typically pressurized to the equivalent of 6,000 to 8,000 feet). This puts a significant extra load on the respiratory system which in this case could have significantly contributed to her death. There may or may not be a doctor on the flight and that doctor will not have access to much of the equipment needed.

    Extend your stay for a few days to see if you improve. The airline will probably work with you to reschedule your ticket.

  4. TonyBurr

    March 8, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Always sad to hear of a person passing in such a way. I am not sure what the girlfriend thought the airline should have done, except not allow the women to travel. The lady needs to take the responsibility of traveling while sick. The airline is not at fault at all.

  5. Raymoland

    March 8, 2019 at 9:03 am

    There is this mentality that you MUST take a booked flight, sick or not. Clearly this woman should not have been travelling. The primary person responsible for that decision is herself. Sadly she paid the ultimate price. It’s hard to tell what symptoms she had that the airline could have seen but if you are vomiting, do not get on a plane! Also, how many people has she infected by putting herself in a tiny cramped space with hundreds of people. Air travel really brings out the worst in people.

  6. alangore


    March 8, 2019 at 11:12 am

    “There is this mentality that you MUST take a booked flight, sick or not.”

    It’s the airlines which are responsible for this “mentality.” If you declare yourself sick and don’t take the flight, you have to buy a one-way walkup ticket when you get well enough to fly. Few people want to go through that.

  7. BJM

    March 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    “Sadly, had someone taken her off the plane to provide medical intervention, she’d be alive today.”

    How could anybody make such a claim without an examination.

  8. crunchie

    March 8, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    @alangore not universally true. I know from personal experience and immediate contact experience (family members and staff) DL, UA, US (before they became AA), WN, B6, AS, BR and SQ have either a partial forgiveness policy or a track record of leniency with passengers who can’t make their flight due to illness. They do require a note from the doctor and possibly the doctor’s contact details. There’s also some kind of service charge but your blanket accusation is irresponsible and factually wrong.

    All that aside, most passengers know what they’re getting when they bought the cheapest non-refundable ticket and when they rejected the flight insurance offer. How about taking responsibility for one’s actions for a change?

  9. IanFromHKG

    March 10, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    “If you declare yourself sick and don’t take the flight, you have to buy a one-way walkup ticket when you get well enough to fly. Few people want to go through that.”

    Or – and here’s an idea – take out travel insurance. This is ridiculously cheap (in the UK it can be less than five pounds). Some people choose not to take insurance – if that is the case, they have in effect decided to self-insure, and should take the consequences on the chin. We did this (in a different context) by not insuring our holiday home – 20,000 pounds-worth of flood damage later, we have changed our mind and now we insure it. Lesson learnt.

    The interesting part about this is that the article states that “She’d been vomiting water and couldn’t keep anything down the last two days” and “she had identified her chest infection to at least five points of contact of the airport staff and members of the cabin crew when boarding”. THIS is where I think criticism of the airline is justified – she should have been asked for medical certification that she was fit to fly.

    People can be taken unexpectedly ill on ‘planes. Both my aunt and uncle have fallen seriously ill on flights despite having no symptoms on boarding. Another very, very dear friend actually died on a flight (we miss you Sandra!) quite recently despite being outwardly entirely fit. No airline can be blamed when such things happen. However, when someone is clearly seriously ill on boarding, to the point of needing special assistance, and has repeatedly explained that they are ill, the lack of checks to ensure that they are fit to fly is an obvious issue. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think the airline owes the unfortunate pax’s family any compensation as clearly the passenger made their own decision to fly – but I think the airline took on unnecessary risks not just for itself but also, as mentioned in the comments above, by permitting someone with what was in all likelihood a serious communicable disease to board.

  10. simpleflyer

    March 11, 2019 at 10:41 am

    I’d just like to thank got2scuba – and with a handle like that, why do I suspect he or she might know a thing or two about pressure and lung function) – for pointing out that in fit people, the minor drop in pressure in an airplane is no biggie, but for someone with a chest infection, the heart and lungs, already compromised, are now under even more stress. I don’t know if oxygen could have helped, but the point is apt:

    **your health and possibly even your life might just be worth the cost of a walk up ticket – even if you are charged in full. **

    Yes, the airline might have asked for certification of fitness, but let’s face it,a) the vast majority of staff are not medically trained and b) they are criticized more often for not boarding someone than for boarding them. So I can see the temptation of staff to bypass a possible confrontation and just hope things will be okay. Whether this should happen or not is beside the point because:

    Again, priorities: we are talking about one’s life. ***If we ourselves don’t fight to do what is best for our bodies (as opposed to our pocketbooks)*** it is a long stretch to assume an airline or indeed any one will care more about our health than we do ourselves.

    That said, I am sorry for this woman and her family. It is a hazard of flying alone, perhaps of living alone, that one doesn’t have a better half to take care of one in situations like this. Likely she was too tired to think beyond, I just want to get home. Moral of story: be prepared for this scenario. An airplane is still even today a potentially tough environment on bodies.

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