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Freaking out passenger forces plane back to gate

Freaking out passenger forces plane back to gate

Old Feb 12, 13, 11:39 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Medic1 View Post

Here's a follow up question: What if this woman had demanded to get off 10 minutes after wheels up? Do you turn around, or do you physically restrain her (if necessary) for the duration of the normally scheduled flight?
It depends on exactly what's going on at that time. The decision to continue or return would be made by the Capt. again based on the situation. Sorry if this isn't what you're looking for.

And my personal o2 based on the op it was the right thing to return & get her off.
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Old Feb 12, 13, 1:25 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
As someone who has had panic attacks (not on planes thank goodness), no you can't control how or when you react - my problem spot is heights and I work in a tall building. I'll go months being okay and then all of a sudden I can't handle being on the 4th floor of a building - unable to breathe, feel like I'm going to pass out, I usually get very quiet as I'm trying to focus and calm myself (doesn't always work). A friend though starts hyperventilating, then screaming, grabbing other people, and gets very demanding - she is a very quiet person normally; her reactions during panic attacks are completely different than her normal personality. Very probable this woman either had no idea she would react this way or thought she had worked through the problem (there are lots of fear of flying courses/therapy programs out there).

As to the luggage, I don't know about you but if somebody is to the point of screaming "we're all going to die" and forces her way off the plane, then I definitely DON'T want her luggage remaining onboard with me. For an international flight, it would be required to remove her luggage, for a domestic flight it would be the smart thing to do as well.
I couldn't agree with you more on both points. From someone who suffers from claustrophobia, my reaction to a situation in which I'm enclosed can vary greatly depending on where I am, where I'm going, who I'm with and the circumstances of the situation. Sometimes I am just fine, other times if I feel I am beginning to panic, I quietly do my breathing exercises and find a focal point to calm myself down. For some people though, they can't deal with it this way and the panic attack builds up. Next thing you know, you're doing something drastic and unsafe just to remove yourself from the anxiety-ridden situation.
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Old Feb 12, 13, 2:02 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
As someone who has had panic attacks (not on planes thank goodness), no you can't control how or when you react - my problem spot is heights and I work in a tall building. I'll go months being okay and then all of a sudden I can't handle being on the 4th floor of a building - unable to breathe, feel like I'm going to pass out, I usually get very quiet as I'm trying to focus and calm myself (doesn't always work).
Wow, I never knew why that happened to me. Glad to be able to put it in context, but I have exactly the same symptoms with exactly the same frequency. The catalyst is always different. Must be mild, because I am always able to focus and calm myself down, but it is not fun. Had it happen with other people in the room and my reaction almost caused them to freak out.

Mike
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Old Feb 13, 13, 9:12 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
Panic attacks are generally involuntary and nasty when triggered.

Who are 'people like this'? People who get ill on board planes? People who inconvenience you? While it is a shame that no-one on board was able to help her through the attack, if it was caused by being on board, you may find she bans herself, so she doesn't need to go through that again.
Not just the op was inconvenienced, but EVERYONE on that plane and perhaps people on the ground too down the line. All because she could not pull her s**t together like a rational adult. I am with the OP on this one.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 9:53 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by pinworm View Post
Not just the op was inconvenienced, but EVERYONE on that plane and perhaps people on the ground too down the line. All because she could not pull her s**t together like a rational adult. I am with the OP on this one.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 11:47 am
  #21  
 
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I don't think there is anything unreasonable about banning her. She was unreasonable enough to think she wouldn't have a problem flying once, but if she should happen to forget that and try to do it again that would be a way to remind her it's not a good idea. To that effect, I'd say the airline is helping her.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 12:46 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe View Post
I don't think there is anything unreasonable about banning her.
What if the reason for her panic attacks is the fact that her deceased husband was on one of the 9/11 planes - or the month before got shot down in a war zone? Would you still ban her?
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Old Feb 13, 13, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by nautilus View Post
If it was up me I would have let the woman off the airplane as per what occurred but left her luggage on board. Her luggage could have been returned to her at a later date.

The delay in searching for her luggage afterwards clearly caused further disruption to countless passengers / staff. Or am I being too harsh?
Its been a rule since lockerbie, if the pax leaves so do the bags.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 1:33 pm
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Its definitely cheaper to burn a little gas back to the gate then burning gas to divert. I do have some sympathy for people who suffer from panic attacks. My wife is one of them. Its not pretty.
We don't know this woman's story. It could have come on suddenly, without warning. People dont get banned from airlines for having medical conditions. They do, however, need to get treatment for their condition so it doesn't happen again.

Last edited by NFeldberg; Feb 13, 13 at 1:55 pm
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Old Feb 13, 13, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
What if the reason for her panic attacks is the fact that her deceased husband was on one of the 9/11 planes - or the month before got shot down in a war zone? Would you still ban her?
Yes. If I were running an airline her personal situation would certainly receive my sympathy, but unless she was willing to pay for the overnight stays, meals, and alternate transport due to missed connections each time she decided to book a flight at the risk she might panic once she got there then I don't think I'd be taking that risk. Maybe I wouldn't ban her for the first offense - but certainly if it happened twice she's outta there.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 4:17 pm
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I think it would be harsh to ban her but I wouldn't blame the airline for insisting she gets some kind of help with whatever's causing the problem before she gets on one of their aircraft again.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by exilencfc View Post
I think it would be harsh to ban her but I wouldn't blame the airline for insisting she gets some kind of help with whatever's causing the problem before she gets on one of their aircraft again.
What's the difference? You'd ban her and if she gets help and can demonstrate she is better you lift the ban. Same thing.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 9:20 pm
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Never saw the Final Destination movie series have ya?
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Old Feb 13, 13, 9:28 pm
  #29  
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If they left baggage on the plane, someone who wanted to bomb a plane could use that loophole. I think the key is for the passenger to believe that their luggage could very well be on a plane with them.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 9:39 pm
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All luggage is supposed to have advanced screening, so (for domestic flights at least) positive bag matching is not required. A few years ago I had a bag leave without me (there was a huge backup at security), to DCA no less.

And there's various operational issues where your bag may miss your flight and take another one.

On the other hand, they still frown on "voluntary" separation -- you don't fly with your bags due to conditions under your control, rather than from actions of the airline. So out of an abundance of caution, they may remove your bags if they have reason to be suspicious of you.

As for the original issue, the point is that when you're travelling with hundreds of strangers, eventually someone is going to have a medical condition that requires immediate attention. It's just part of flying, just like weather and mechanical cancellations/diversions.
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