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Chinese Pax Possibly DIED On Board At LAX On My LATAM Flight (Mar15 LA2476 LIM-LAX)

Chinese Pax Possibly DIED On Board At LAX On My LATAM Flight (Mar15 LA2476 LIM-LAX)

Old Mar 18, 20, 8:22 am
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Chinese Pax Possibly DIED On Board At LAX On My LATAM Flight (Mar15 LA2476 LIM-LAX)

Wife and I flew LIM-LAX on Sunday March 15th on LA 2476.

When the plane parked at the gate at LAX and pax were starting to deplane, a medical emergency developed involving an unconscious Chinese woman. Someone called out for a doctor, and a couple pax came over to help. The woman was lying, unconscious, across the middle set of seats towards the front of the economy cabin. Everyone else proceeded to deplane, except a group of 10-15 Chinese pax stayed back and were huddled around the situation. Paramedics eventually came on board. Attempts to revive her appeared to be unsuccessful, as far as we could see.

We know all of this because, due to crazy luck, my wife's cell phone happened to disappear during the deplaning process. As we were walking up the aisle to deplane, she realized that her phone was gone. We stayed on the plane after everyone (except the medical emergency party) had departed to try to look for the phone, but were eventually told to leave the plane due to the medical situation. We went through immigration and customs, and then upstairs to the LATAM ticket counter. The LATAM folks told us that we could stick around and wait until the plane cleared out and was cleaned/searched.

We hung around for about two hours, and a LATAM agent finally told us the good news -- that the phone was found on board. About 15 minutes later, an agent delivered the phone to us.

When we retrieved the phone, I asked the LATAM reps about the medical situation, due to the obvious Coronavirus concerns. They told me that the medical emergency was still ongoing inside the plane. I asked whether the pax had died and whether the pax had symptoms related to Coronavirus, and was told that they wouldn't discuss that for privacy reasons. I replied that this is a public health issue, and we all ought to know if someone on our flight had died of Coronavirus. Crickets. I tried to contact LATAM on social media to get more information, and, still, nothing.

I realize that plenty of people die on planes and this may have nothing to do with Coronavirus, but the circumstances here make our concern legitimate. Plus, LATAM and Peru appear to have been totally irresponsible in their handling of this pandemic; on Sunday, there were flights departing/arriving from/to Europe, and, also, there was no screening whatsoever when we landed at LIM in transit. Who knows where the unconscious pax (and the group of Chinese pax huddled around her) were coming from and if they were trying to use Peru to avoid US travel bans.

Thanks to LATAM for getting our phone back to us, but everyone on the flight -- and the public at large -- deserves some clarity on whether a pax on board died related to Coronavirus.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:28 am
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Is the assumption that this is a COVID-19 issue related to the ill passenger being Chinese?
I am not quite understanding the posting in this forum:

1) Not sure passenger died
2) Not sure of symptoms prior to losing consciousness
3) Not sure it's COVID-19 related


I do agree that the airline has a responsibility to inform pax if this is indeed COVID-19 related though...
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Is the assumption that this is a COVID-19 issue related to the ill passenger being Chinese?
I am not quite understanding the posting in this forum:

1) Not sure passenger died
2) Not sure of symptoms prior to losing consciousness
3) Not sure it's COVID-19 related


I do agree that the airline has a responsibility to inform pax if this is indeed COVID-19 related though...
It's not an *assumption* that this is Coronavirus related; given the circumstances, it's a reasonable possibility that this is Coronavirus related and something worth considering. And it's reasonable for me -- and any pax on board and the public at large -- to want the truth from LATAM. And LATAM won't provide me with any information. Health officials ought to know about this as well.

The reason for my posting this on FT is to make this publicly known and to try to get advice from other FTers on how to get to the bottom of this.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
It's not an *assumption* that this is Coronavirus related; given the circumstances, it's a reasonable possibility that this is Coronavirus related and something worth considering. And it's reasonable for me -- and any pax on board and the public at large -- to want the truth from LATAM. And LATAM won't provide me with any information. Health officials ought to know about this as well.

The reason for my posting this on FT is to make this publicly known and to try to get advice from other FTers on how to get to the bottom of this.
So then, by definition, itís an assumption. Because
you donít know the facts and are jumping conclusions based on your priors.

Do you even know if the woman was a Chinese National? There are millions of Chinese Americans in California alone. HIPPA rules also exist for a reason.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by TravelingZoomer View Post
So then, by definition, it’s an assumption. Because
you don’t know the facts and are jumping conclusions based on your priors.

Do you even know if the woman was a Chinese National? There are millions of Chinese Americans in California alone. HIPPA rules also exist for a reason.
An assumption is something that's taken as a fact, without proof. An assumption would be "Chinese pax on my plane died of Coronavirus." There's no conclusion. I'm not saying that the pax died of Coronavirus.

There is only a question: DID a pax on board -- who is Chinese, and happened to be unconscious and having an medical emergency in the midst of a global pandemic that originated in China, and who was flying into the US from a country that is being irresponsible vis-a-vis its handling of the Coronavirus flight situation -- die of Coronavirus?

As a matter of public health, everyone ought to know the answer to this question. The airline doesn't have to release her name; they have a duty to inform all pax on board if there was a Coronavirus death.

(And I don't know the citizenship of the pax the other Chinese pax huddled around her. I heard them speaking Mandarin (I took a year of Mandarin in high school) and they appeared ethnically Chinese. But I don't know what passport(s) they hold.)
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Old Mar 18, 20, 9:27 am
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The LA County Department of Health will coordinate with the carrier should a passenger become ill or die. It will also collect contact information for other passengers and, if the situation warrants reaching out to other passengers, that notification will be made. Whether this was Covid-19, something else, or perhaps a heart attack or other non-contagious condition, these determinations are made by public health officials.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:30 am
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LATAM does not have a representative on Flyertalk. Is there a point to this thread other than to incite panic based on the perceived nationality of a passenger?
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:41 am
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And that is the kind of rabbit-hole that people have warned about. Racism creeps in really easily when you're in a panic.

The appropriate authorities should report if it is confirmed after the fact.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by teriyaki View Post
The appropriate authorities should report if it is confirmed after the fact.
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The LA County Department of Health will coordinate with the carrier should a passenger become ill or die. It will also collect contact information for other passengers and, if the situation warrants reaching out to other passengers, that notification will be made. Whether this was Covid-19, something else, or perhaps a heart attack or other non-contagious condition, these determinations are made by public health officials.
Let's hope. Given how badly government and public health officials at all levels have botched this crisis, I'm not sure I have particular confidence that this will be handled properly.

Originally Posted by Beltway2A View Post
LATAM does not have a representative on Flyertalk. Is there a point to this thread other than to incite panic based on the perceived nationality of a passenger?
The point is to figure out how to get proper information from LATAM and/or public health officials.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:32 am
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To be honest, the least thing you have to worry about is that passenger laying unconscious on the plane.
Most transmissions have happened from asymptomatic people. So, it may well have been that there was someone sitting behind you looking completely healthy but covid19 positive.
That's the key point.

I understand that LATAM (or else) telling you whether the person had covid19 or not will give you a sense of security (albeit false) but it should not really determine your future course of action.
Even if the person was confirmed to have covid19, unless you start developing symptoms, you won't get tested. The system is overwhelmed.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
To be honest, the least thing you have to worry about is that passenger laying unconscious on the plane.
Most transmissions have happened from asymptomatic people. So, it may well have been that there was someone sitting behind you looking completely healthy but covid19 positive.
That's the key point.

I understand that LATAM (or else) telling you whether the person had covid19 or not will give you a sense of security (albeit false) but it should not really determine your future course of action.
Even if the person was confirmed to have covid19, unless you start developing symptoms, you won't get tested. The system is overwhelmed.
Fair points. However, this pax appeared to be traveling in a group of 10-15 Chinese travelers. If she had Coronavirus, others in her group may very well have it as well (asymptomatic or otherwise). We may have picked up the virus from this flight -- or from any other portion of our trip, or might not have it at all. I certainly realize all the unknowns.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
An assumption is something that's taken as a fact, without proof. An assumption would be "Chinese pax on my plane died of Coronavirus." There's no conclusion. I'm not saying that the pax died of Coronavirus.

There is only a question: DID a pax on board -- who is Chinese, and happened to be unconscious and having an medical emergency in the midst of a global pandemic that originated in China, and who was flying into the US from a country that is being irresponsible vis-a-vis its handling of the Coronavirus flight situation -- die of Coronavirus?

As a matter of public health, everyone ought to know the answer to this question. The airline doesn't have to release her name; they have a duty to inform all pax on board if there was a Coronavirus death.

(And I don't know the citizenship of the pax the other Chinese pax huddled around her. I heard them speaking Mandarin (I took a year of Mandarin in high school) and they appeared ethnically Chinese. But I don't know what passport(s) they hold.)
Good you got your phone at least, hopefully you gave it a good scrub

LIM ( that is Peru right? ) why would Chinese people fly to the US, they can't even get in to US these days. Let's see if I saw a bunch of Caucasians standing over and huddling and speaking Spanish, would it be okay to assume they are Mexican's, or Peruvian etc. etc. Oh NO they must be from Spain and that is a terrible, or maybe speak Italian.

[Overly personalized content edited by Moderator per FT Rule 12.]
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Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Mar 18, 20 at 2:47 pm Reason: See note above.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 1:40 pm
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It take 48h for test, so right now no one can give You answer.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 5:29 pm
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Not sure how anyone could tell if someone had died from COVID-19 just by looking at them.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Lefty6 View Post
Not sure how anyone could tell if someone had died from COVID-19 just by looking at them.
Exactly. That's why I've been trying to find out from LATAM whether the pax died from Coronavirus!
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