Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, Brussels, LOT and Other Partners | Miles & More
Reload this Page >

Very nauseous on 12h flight. Left to sleep on floor! VERY indifferent crew response.

Very nauseous on 12h flight. Left to sleep on floor! VERY indifferent crew response.

Old Jul 23, 17, 7:56 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 6
Very nauseous on 12h flight. Left to sleep on floor! VERY indifferent crew response.

Before deciding whether to write to LH, I would appreciate your appraisal of what happened to me, a few days ago on LH 779 from SIN to LH sitting in Y in the middle of a full plane.


Had been on the road for a couple of weeks for work. Since I knew I was tired, I tried to upgrade at the airport to Y out of my own pocket. Was told it was too late, should have called before. I do these long flights at least once a month, and told myself I would survive this one too.


First 4 hours normal, event slept quite ok. Suddenly I wake up and feel extremely nauseous. Push the button and a crew member appears. I explain the situation, reiterate my request to pay (I never insinuated to receive it for free) for Y. Person re-emerges after a few minutes with an unidentified pill which I was told to take. Since I had no clue what it was, nor whether I could actually take it (incompatibilities with other medication?), I decided not to take it.


Situation deteriorates and my body screams to lie down 100%, alone without being surrounded by so many people. I push the button again, same person appears but no immediate solution offered. Only question was whether I need to see a doctor. I said no, I just need to lie down to have the nausea disappear, and my condition is not an emergency that will require you to go to the pilot to ask whether he wants to put the plane down, don't worry I even said.


Since no relief came, after a few minutes, I stand up and ask another cabin crew for a pillow and search for what my body screams for = a place to lie down, which I find (of my own initiative) at the very back of the plane, in front of a door, near the stairs going to the upper cabin.


What then follows is outright bizarre. Twice a crew member appears tells me I can only sit there, not lie down. I say I fully understand , for safety reasons, but right now my body needs to lie down. I reiterate my request to pay for C (at that point I would have paid through the nose for a regular bed), and am told it's full. Fair enough. So what are my options? "Go back to your seat, this is a very full plane with some 500 people and many of them in Y also want to lie down like you". At that point , and only point, I raise my voice: "with all due respect in the some 70+flights I take yearly I have never done with I am doing now, but I have no choice". Person disappears.


I was left lying there on the floor, with a pillow, and only gesture: at some point a cabin crew drops me a blanket. Other than that one gesture NOBODY checked on me during the - by my own estimate - slightly over 4 hours I was lying there, in and out of sleep. It was the time of the flight most cabin crew bar a few are asleep themselves, and it felt like they didn't want to be bothered. I felt like a pariah, even slightly embarrassed about my own condition.


After some 4 hours I feel quite better again, so go back to my seat since comfortable the rest of the flight will be ok again there. And so I was until landing in FRA.


Surprisingly, NO ONE ever enquired after that how I felt.


Your views would be greatly appreciated.


Is this standard treatment one should expect? Shouldn't the cabin manager at least have assigned, as a precautionary measure, one crew member to check in on me say every 30 or so minutes until I would have signaled to be fine again? After all, my condition could have deteriorated...and they wouldn't have known it!


Thanks for letting me know whether I should raise this with LH, and what to ask them. The least I want is that if ever the same happens to other fellow passengers, they get a more humane response, since what I received what so indifferent it's outright worrisome...
GVAIKA is offline  
Old Jul 23, 17, 10:52 am
  #2  
Hilton 5+ BadgeAccor 10+ Badge
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Rhineland-Palatinate
Programs: OW Sapphire (BA), *A Gold (A3), Le Club Accor Gold, HHonor Diamond
Posts: 3,477
I would have never asked for the upgrade, even to pay. This is likely this could not be processed in flight anyway and it takes the focus away from the problem: you feeling nauseous.
I would have accepted the call for a doctor, whom would have the authority to ensure you were lying down in a safe space. A call for a doctor does not necessarily mean a diversion.
You were right to not take the pill IMHO, I agree you must know what this is.
fransknorge is offline  
Old Jul 23, 17, 3:24 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,918
The cabin crew could not give you details of the medication they were going to give you? That is strange, I would expect it to be readily available if it is something stocked by the airline.

I agree with the previous poster about not even bringing up the upgrade to business class as it just distracts from your real medical problem. I have seen many times people using various "illness" etc as an excuse to sit in business and I am sure the crew have seen it way more than me. I understand that in your mind the fact that you were willing to pay should negate that but think it still would have distracted from the problem at hand.
mcgahat is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 2:31 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,091
Originally Posted by fransknorge View Post
I would have accepted the call for a doctor, whom would have the authority to ensure you were lying down in a safe space.
+1
mmff is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 3:08 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: PVG, FRA, SEA, HEL
Programs: UA Premier Gold
Posts: 4,140
Even if they would have a free seat in Business Class -> it would have been very disruptive to move a Y-pax to C in the middle of the flight - certainly for all the C-pax who paid big Euros to sleep on this long overnight flight from SIN to FRA.
A complaint would have been lodged by the C-pax, where a sick Y-pax is placed next to.

I believe there is a policy in place to prevent this.

Did you ask at SIN to purchase an upgrade to Premium Economy?
warakorn is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 3:10 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: SFO/SJC/OAK
Programs: OZ Diamond (*G), AAdvantage Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,223
I don't really see what the LH crew did wrong. They offered to help...that's about all they can do. Too many people try to upgrade for various "reasons". I'm not discounting how you felt, but you never know with people. Additionally, like others said, it may have been an issue with them not even being able to process an upgrade in flight.
I actually think they were very generous to allow you to continue laying down. I can't imagine how a United crew would have reacted for example.
AceReport likes this.
zeer0 is online now  
Old Jul 24, 17, 3:48 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 6
Thanks to all who contributed. I agree with the advice offered, i.e. instead of signaling I wanted (to pay for) an upgrade to C mid-flight, which is complicated indeed for a number of reasons, the better approach would have been to emphasize the seriousness of how I felt at that point in time, and to have accepted the offer that they ask whether there's a doctor on board so that an ad-hoc solution could be found based on medical grounds, and upon the doctor's independent medical advice, instead of upon the wrongful impression I may have created that I wanted to get a freebee upgrade to C based upon "I feel sick" statements only I could vouch for in terms of their being genuine.


The thought of me being the one for whom they page whether there's a doctor on board was just a bit too intimidating I think to have accepted their offer. Interesting to read that a call for a doctor won't necessarily entail diversion. This is what I was worried for.


On the other question: when the pill was offered to me, no explanation was given indeed. I did not push the question either, since I was uncomfortable just taking a pill I did not have any further information on.


Feel free to continue to weight in. Very helpful thread. Hope I won't need the advice in the future :-)
GVAIKA is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 5:19 am
  #8  
Senior Moderator, Moderator: Coronavirus, Community Buzz, and Ambassador: Miles & More (Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, and other partners)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 150km from MAN
Programs: LH SEN** HH Diamond
Posts: 27,849
Originally Posted by GVAIKA View Post
The thought of me being the one for whom they page whether there's a doctor on board was just a bit too intimidating I think to have accepted their offer. Interesting to read that a call for a doctor won't necessarily entail diversion. This is what I was worried for.
You may not have been aware but LH has the Doctor on Board programme and maintains a list of doctors who can assist in cases like yours.
https://www.lufthansa.com/de/en/doctor-on-board

Very often they don't have to page if there is any doctor on board because they have this information already and can approach them discreetly without other passengers noticing.

Originally Posted by zeer0 View Post
I actually think they were very generous to allow you to continue laying down. I can't imagine how a United crew would have reacted for example.
The thought has crossed my mind.
NewbieRunner is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 5:58 am
  #9  
Accor 10+ BadgeHilton 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Rhineland-Palatinate
Programs: OW Sapphire (BA), *A Gold (A3), Le Club Accor Gold, HHonor Diamond
Posts: 3,477
As to what you should raise with LH post-incident, I am afraid that a complaint or even feedback would yield no results. The crew did not anything wrong, except possible giving you a pill without any form of information on it.

An airline does not want to divert. This is a very weighted decision by the captain. When a doctor is called on board, or the crew is communicating with one on the ground, an assessment will be made before deciding to divert. They would do so only and only if they believe this is the best course of action.
fransknorge is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 6:02 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,918
Originally Posted by zeer0 View Post
I actually think they were very generous to allow you to continue laying down. I can't imagine how a United crew would have reacted for example.
I agree and I am not sure how a United crew would have handled it but quite sure the OP would not have been allowed to lay down for hours in the areas they mention.
mcgahat is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 6:21 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 28,184
It's quite hard to provide any really meaningful commentary as we can not put ourselves in your position (literally). I accept that you felt an urgent need to lie down, but I can see how a request to move to C (especially of offering to pay for it) would have been denied. Unfortunately too many people try this all the time to upgrade for free. If the flight was full and you really needed to lie down, you should have asked for a doctor. In the end you did lie down but I think your title is a bit dramatic. You wanted/needed to lie down, you were not 'left'. I suspect LH crew should have found a doctor for you.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 7:55 am
  #12  
GVA
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Here there everywhere
Programs: A3 *G, BA Silver, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy LTT, United Silver, LH Unelected fool, Carrot Rewards
Posts: 2,688
Originally Posted by mcgahat View Post
I agree and I am not sure how a United crew would have handled it but quite sure the OP would not have been allowed to lay down for hours in the areas they mention.
I've seen people try it on a variety of US based airlines over the years. It always ends in a similar way: FA "Hey, where do you think you are ? You can't stay there, go back to your seat and fasten your seat belt".

I'm a bit surprised LH allowed it...
GVA is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 8:51 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Montreux CH
Programs: FB Platinum, M&M FTL, BA Blue
Posts: 8,878
Don't be too hard on the OP, it happened to me a year and a half back on a Virgin Atlantic flight from LGW to UVF (St. Lucia). I didn't feel great about two thirds into the flight, really not, and I got up to go aft and get some water. Never got there, I went down like an Oregon pine tree in the aisle, woke up with an oxygen mask strapped on my face. The CC member very kindly said she had also felt faint at one point. It can happen, the air in planes can be funny sometimes.
Concerto is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 11:26 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
Don't be too hard on the OP, it happened to me a year and a half back on a Virgin Atlantic flight from LGW to UVF (St. Lucia). I didn't feel great about two thirds into the flight, really not, and I got up to go aft and get some water. Never got there, I went down like an Oregon pine tree in the aisle, woke up with an oxygen mask strapped on my face. The CC member very kindly said she had also felt faint at one point. It can happen, the air in planes can be funny sometimes.
Without being hard on the OP I find it hard to find fault with the LH crew here:

1. He was asked if he wanted/needed to see a doctor (LH has an inflight MD programme) and he declined.

2. He was offered medication. He doesn't claim crew weren't able to inform him about the medication, he only claims he did not know what it was and decided not to take it (chances are IMHO that it was an aspirin as crew would normally not hand out anything critical).

3. He chose to lie down in the aisle which, if everyone in Y or even the plane did, would cause problems simply because there would not be sufficient space and access to emergency exits would be obstructed.

4. Crew acted very sympathetically and regardless of rules let him lie in the aisle and gave him a blanket.

5. After telling telling the crew repeatedly to essentially either upgrade him inflight, or leave him alone, the crew actually decided to tolerate him lying in the aisle and did leave him alone. Why would he then expect to be looked after in 30 min intervals?

To sum it up: he was offered professional help and declined. From that moment on he should have carried on with it and should have complied with general behavioral standards. Despite not doing so he was taken care of.

Last edited by sw1x; Jul 25, 17 at 2:07 am
sw1x is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 3:06 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: ZRH / YUL
Programs: UA, TK , Starwood > Marriott
Posts: 6,700
RE: the paging for a doctor (which I agree the OP should have triggered), I have had countless long-haul flights where I have heard such a page. And I have never experienced a diversion. So on all these flights, the problems seem to have been diagnosed as non-critical.

One time, we were asked to stay seated after landing as an ambulance was waiting and a patient was rushed out first.
airoli is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: