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cabin crew... help needed [Death in flight codewords]

cabin crew... help needed [Death in flight codewords]

Old Aug 24, 17, 7:13 am
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cabin crew... help needed [Death in flight codewords]

Dear all,

As an author, I am currently writing a chapter in which a passenger becomes ill on a long haul flight, and then, unfortunately, passes away. An integral part of the storyline is how the cabin crew handle this situation. Could anyone help by advising the SOP for this ( Hopefully not from personal experience !)

Also I seem to remember that there is a code word for times when the crew are discussing such an event near pax... involving the words "Phonix rising"
Can any one confirm this?

Any help would be gratefully recieved !
many many thanks!
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Old Aug 24, 17, 7:36 am
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No code that I know of at BA, we would try and move the body to somewhere private but if that isn't possible we would leave it in the passengers seat, we wouldn't cover the body but we would close their eyes.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 7:41 am
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Never had a death onboard, but we definitely don't shout Phoenix Rising.

Once the passenger does pass away it would be somewhere private if possible, if not, we'd but them back in their seat and blanket up to the shoulders.

I'm sure you're aware of the satellite phone to Doctors on the ground who direct us what to do? They give us all the permission we need and would also instruct us to call for a medical professional on board.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 7:42 am
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Welcome to FT, but I can't see what this has got to do with British Airways .

A 10 second Google search came up with at least a dozen opinions, many of which seemed to come from fairly reliable sources (OK, maybe not the first one as that's from the Daily Mail ):

Move them to an empty seat in first class, cover them with a blanket and NEVER put them in the loo: What happens when a passenger dies on a plane?

What Happens When a Passenger Dies on the Plane

Here's what happens when a passenger dies on a plane

What do airlines do with dead passengers?
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Old Aug 24, 17, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by ACabinCrewMember View Post
Never had a death onboard, but we definitely don't shout Phoenix Rising.
Sounds like an American version of Inspector Sands. But welcome to Flyertalk ACabinCrewMember, it's good to hear from you and I don't know if you are BA cabin crew but any insights you can share with us, hopefully on happier topics, would be most welcome.

And likewise greetings to meet and greet, good luck with your book.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by meet and greet View Post
Also I seem to remember that there is a code word for times when the crew are discussing such an event near pax... involving the words "Phonix rising"
Can any one confirm this?
In the medical world there are plenty of euphemisms to discretely describe a death. The most common one locally is to say a patient has “gone to Rose Cottage” .

We used to say a patient had “gone to the co-op” as Co-operative Funerals was our local Funeral Directors. We decided to stop doing this after a rather unfortunate mix up.

Maybe there should be a phrase or code for use in such situations in flight?

I would suggest “We have a passenger no longer requiring oxygen” or for the more spiritual “We have a passenger continuing to gain altitude”
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:00 am
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Yes, you’re quite right. That’s what we do. We alert crew to emergencies, not with the convenient intercom in the galley but by furtively whispering the names of Disney characters at each other. “Donald Duck” means ‘lethal bird strike’; “Dumbo” means ‘pilot’s dropped his magic feather’; “Shere Khan” means ‘tiger in the flight deck’ …
From John Finnemore's Cabin Pressure, a terrifyingly accurate account of life in a very small airline!
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by mastutio View Post
We used to say a patient had “gone to the co-op” as Co-operative Funerals was our local Funeral Directors. We decided to stop doing this after a rather unfortunate mix up.
Come on, you can't just leave that story there!

Did someone really go to the co-up and then the receptionist had a heart-attack thinking they were seeing an apparition?

Originally Posted by mastutio View Post
I would suggest “We have a passenger no longer requiring oxygen” or for the more spiritual “We have a passenger continuing to gain altitude”
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
Come on, you can't just leave that story there!
^ don't leave us in suspense

One new thread and two new posters on the first page so let me add my welcome here too to you both meet and greet and ACabinCrewMember.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:23 am
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I was a passenger on a flight (BA155 LHR-CAI 777) approximately 10 years ago that had the misfortune to have a passenger die in-flight.

We were flying over what used to be Yugoslavia when a 'is there a doctor onboard?' announcement was made. Very shortly thereafter the cabin crew were instructed to immediately suspend the meal service and clear away all passenger's meal trays, etc.

We made a descent into and landed at ATH. I was sat in 10D (CW), the deceased was in Y, so I never saw anything first hand - but we were subsequently advised by the captain that a passenger had sadly passed away and been removed from the aircraft.

We resumed our journey approximately two hours later. All handled very professionally by BA's crew.

A sobering experience though - I guess it could happen to any of us at any time.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:25 am
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What would have been the benefit of landing at ATH to offload the passenger?
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post

What would have been the benefit of landing at ATH to offload the passenger?
I believe when the decision was made to divert to ATH the passenger was still alive and the crew were seeking emergency medical assistance for the passenger.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What would have been the benefit of landing at ATH to offload the passenger?
This is a guess and nothing more but it's possible that the landing in ATH was instigated prior to the death in order to provide urgent medical care. This would tally with the decision to cease the meal service in readiness for landing. Then the person died perhaps well into the descent. As I said though, it's just a theory.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by Phil the Flyer View Post
I was a passenger on a flight (BA155 LHR-CAI 777) approximately 10 years ago that had the misfortune to have a passenger die in-flight.

<snip>

We resumed our journey approximately two hours later. All handled very professionally by BA's crew.
If that happened today, I wonder if anyone would date come on here asking if that was exceptional circumstances and whether they could claim EU261 comp.
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Old Aug 24, 17, 9:30 am
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Jim Wilson

and American Airlines
http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/...cribe-13422532
http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/tr...staff-10917061

Also
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...s_onboard.html
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