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who pays when plane has to return for a medical emergency?

who pays when plane has to return for a medical emergency?

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Old Jun 6, 05, 8:24 pm
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who pays when plane has to return for a medical emergency?

Let's say you have a heart attack on the plane and the plane has to land somewhere or return to its originating point. Does the patient have to pay for added cost of this stop/return or does the airline eat the cost?
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Old May 20, 08, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by magiciansampras View Post
Let's say you have a heart attack on the plane and the plane has to land somewhere or return to its originating point. Does the patient have to pay for added cost of this stop/return or does the airline eat the cost?
Looks like you didn't have much luck with this magiciansampras. I was curious to know about this too? Can anyone help?
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Old May 20, 08, 5:09 am
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I believe the airline would have to absorb this cost.
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Old May 20, 08, 5:14 am
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Some anecdotal data here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...=750665&page=2

(By the way, how do I turn that into one word that says "here" and does the same thing?).

Among others, see post #25.
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Old May 20, 08, 5:18 am
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Just guessing here:

I'm thinking the airline pays. They have to account for a number of situations that would require diversions, including mechanicals. I'm sure this is all accounted for, just like the gasoline they may have to dump in such cases. I read these days some info on dumping fuel and BA said it was only approximately 0.5% (IIRC) of their fuel that got dumped - hardly a significant figure. I'm sure the emergency situations that require diversions are rare enough and that airlines to account for that in their books (by adjusting the prices accordingly). Trying to bill a pax for an emergency landing can be really, really bad PR.
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Old May 20, 08, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by florin View Post
Just guessing here:

I'm thinking the airline pays. They have to account for a number of situations that would require diversions, including mechanicals. I'm sure this is all accounted for, just like the gasoline they may have to dump in such cases. I read these days some info on dumping fuel and BA said it was only approximately 0.5% (IIRC) of their fuel that got dumped - hardly a significant figure. I'm sure the emergency situations that require diversions are rare enough and that airlines to account for that in their books (by adjusting the prices accordingly). Trying to bill a pax for an emergency landing can be really, really bad PR.
Plus I would assume that if the pax died on board because the airline failed to divert, they would get their pants sued off, along with the damaged PR.
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Old May 20, 08, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by spainflyer View Post
Some anecdotal data here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...=750665&page=2

(By the way, how do I turn that into one word that says "here" and does the same thing?).
While editing your post, you should see some icons above the text. Highlight the text, pick the icon that looks like a globe with a chain link. It will ask for the URL.
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Old May 20, 08, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by gosha83 View Post
Plus I would assume that if the pax died on board because the airline failed to divert, they would get their pants sued off, along with the damaged PR.
That would cause much more monetary damage than the ~$100k that was quoted in the CO thread. Even if that $100k is high, it pales in comparsion to what just defending themselves would cost for years in litigation, let alone what a settlement is.
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Old May 20, 08, 8:16 am
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The airline picks up the tab for the diversion and all related activities. If the passenger doesn't have insurance to cover medical treatment at the diversion point, the airline will get the bill for that as well.

You might be surprised to find out how many passengers who wind up being the cause of medical diversions also try to seek additional damages or compensation from the airline after the fact.

It's one of those "no win" situations for an airline so they just suck up the costs and deal with it. Thankfully these occurances are not very regular.
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Old May 20, 08, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
You might be surprised to find out how many passengers who wind up being the cause of medical diversions also try to seek additional damages or compensation from the airline after the fact.
Regrettably, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that many patients/pax sue the airline. Didn't divert quickly enough, didn't divert to the city with the highest quality provider, didn't provide sufficient on-board care, whatever.

In an era when people sue McDonald's because their hot coffee is...well...hot, nothing much surprises me anymore....
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Old May 20, 08, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
The airline picks up the tab for the diversion and all related activities. If the passenger doesn't have insurance to cover medical treatment at the diversion point, the airline will get the bill for that as well.
Why would the airline be responsible for the patient's medical costs?
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Old May 20, 08, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by nerd View Post
Why would the airline be responsible for the patient's medical costs?
Depending on the country that the diversion occurs to, the traveler may not have legal status to enter the country in their own right. The airline (as the delivering carrier) would have to stand guarantee to sponsor the person's entry, as well as any repatriation, medical and accomodation costs involved.

That is partly why airlines will usually prefer to return to originating station than divert to an en-route point in the case of a medical emergency (other factors also come into play obviously).
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Old May 20, 08, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by florin View Post
Just guessing here:

I'm thinking the airline pays. They have to account for a number of situations that would require diversions, including mechanicals. I'm sure this is all accounted for, just like the gasoline they may have to dump in such cases. I read these days some info on dumping fuel and BA said it was only approximately 0.5% (IIRC) of their fuel that got dumped - hardly a significant figure. I'm sure the emergency situations that require diversions are rare enough and that airlines to account for that in their books (by adjusting the prices accordingly). Trying to bill a pax for an emergency landing can be really, really bad PR.
You don't consider tens of millions of dollars a significant figure?
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Old May 20, 08, 5:27 pm
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If it's a ligitimate medical diversion generaly the airline eats the cost. As others have said if they didn't they would be open to a lawsuit.
I have heard of airlines going after people in court for cost associated with diversions due to disruptive behaiviour.
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Old May 21, 08, 3:38 am
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having been a person who has answered the 'is there a doctor on board' call. I'm glad BA didn't charge me for turning around a 747 over the Atlantic from LAX-LON! Patient survived surgery in Boston so happy ending.
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