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EasyJet Removes Passenger After Epileptic Seizure

Flyer claims she was cleared by paramedics, while EasyJet claimed that their move was out of caution.

An epileptic flyer is speaking out against British low-cost carrier EasyJet, claiming that she was denied flying after suffering a seizure aboard an aircraft. The Independent reports that 30-year-old model Helen Stephens is rallying against the airline, claiming that EasyJet should change their policies on serving with people with epilepsy.

Stephens was a passenger aboard EasyJet Flight 8747 on August 31, departing from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) for Greece to attend a friend’s wedding. Prior to takeoff, the flyer suffered a seizure that she claimed lasted “seconds.” However, the seizure was major enough to call paramedics to the aircraft.

After receiving treatment, Stephens said that the medical staff had cleared her to continue the flight. Instead of continuing to Greece, Stephens was asked to retrieve her luggage and leave the aircraft at the captain’s request.

“If I had to be stretchered off the plane and taken to hospital, I could completely understand that, ” Stephens told The Independent. “But a walking talking person who can get up and pack her passport away and then get off the plane – it was really embarrassing.”

The flyer was ultimately rebooked on a flight departing the next day and was afforded accommodations by the airline. In a statement, EasyJet defended their decision to prevent the flyer from continuing on to Greece.

“The health and wellbeing of passengers inflight is of paramount importance,” a spokesperson for EasyJet told The Independent in a statement. “EasyJet will only allow passengers to travel if the gate staff, captain and crew are satisfied that they are fit to travel.”

Despite this, Stephens is calling on the airline to change how they deal with flyers that contend with epilepsy. According to statistics from the non-profit organization Charity Action, one in every 103 people in Britain is diagnosed with epilepsy.

“I think easyJet need to be aware of how their staff handle disabilities,” Stephens told The Independent. “Especially ones as common as epilepsy and listen to their customers.”

[Photo: Telegraph.co.uk]

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7 Comments
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flightmedic September 6, 2016

While a tremendous number of people have a history of a seizure disorder most of them do not experience recurrent seizures. They are will controlled on medication. When a seizure it usually is due to either a change in the patient's baseline condition (their disorder is getting worse), they are not compliant in taking their medications, or their medications need to be adjusted. Just because this flyer had a seizure and then was "fine" does not mean that the problem would not recur. EasyJet was most logical in denying passage for this passenger.

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JackE September 4, 2016

This shows we have medical treatment for seizures but there is no cure for manufactured outrage.

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flyerCO September 4, 2016

Easyjet just violated the law and will I bet get a fine. Sorry but the paramedics are MEDICAL professionals that are able to decide if a patient is well enough to fly. Paramedics are trained to act as doctors in the field. In most countries they can even declare someone dead. The pilot while having full authority to deny a passenger did so in a manner that violates the law on persons with disabilities/major medical issues. The shortness and the state the passenger was in show that she was medically fine. This was nothing more then a non-medical professional making a decision on what they "think" they know about it. Airport paramedics make these calls everyday.

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honestpointofview September 3, 2016

Easyjet were correct. International medical guidance for airlines is that travel should be delayed for 24 hours after a grand mal seizure. I have checked BA and a number of other airlines follow the same rule.

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offtothehills September 3, 2016

EJ did exactly what they should do. The person would fully know that, I am sure. I really don't know what else a responsible airline could do. And Charity Action should not be criticizing Easyjet. Any person who suffers an attack, whether it be asthma, heart, stroke etc, and especially if a paramedic is called, shouldn't be permitted to continue their journey on that flight.