DDR
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:52 pm

hiflyeras wrote:
I've been a flight attendant for 37 years and have NEVER heard of any airline demanding that you remain awake for taxi, takeoff and landing. This is just ridiculous. Now, if they'd tried to rouse the passenger and he was unresponsive then yes, I could see returning to the gate. But trying to wake him up only because he'd dozed off before takeoff is insanity.


Agree 100%. No where in our training is this even addressed. From experience I can tell you that on early morning flights (0500) half the passengers are asleep before takeoff. This FA was out of line.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:18 pm

I don’t think falling asleep is the problem.

Quote from the article:
After some more nudging from his wife, Bennett was awake and alert within five minutes, Hickey said.

Taking 5 minutes to wake up is not normal. I don’t think it take 5 minutes to wake up after taking Ambien. I think there is more to this story
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:21 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
Where does it say the crew knew he had taken sleeping pills? Nowhere in the article, and nowhere in the statement from WS, either..

It took the passenger five minutes to wake up. ie not easily roused so the crew's initial concerns were valid. The later decisions will in all probability have gone further up the food chain.

I also said there's always at least three sides to a story so kindly dismount that high horse.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:35 pm

ChrisKen wrote:
I also said there's always at least three sides to a story so kindly dismount that high horse.

And that then goes for both sides, the "two sides" that are speaking up here: The FA supportive side and the passenger supportive side.

I will comment though that I have never heard that taking a sleeping aid is illegal, improper, or could result in one being found to be a "safety of flight risk". I have taken them myself on long flights where my sleep rhythm is being disrupted. Why would that not apply to anyone at anytime taking a sleep aid? Also there are many "flight aids" that people take that result in lethargy or being "out of it" a bit (that is the goal of quite a few of the meds for nervous fliers.

Does this need to be a new announcement "no meds of any kind that prevent you from being fully alert and able to respond coherently and nearly immediately"?

Tugg
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bennett123
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:08 pm

On other posts there have been references to pilots calling a medical help line.

Would Westjet have contacted this helpline in this situation.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:13 pm

CaptCoolHand wrote:
kalvado wrote:
CaptCoolHand wrote:
Had he not taken a sleeping pill I would never had denied boarding. But in reality that’s no different than being drunk.

In the event of an emergency the crew is responsible to get everyone out safely and having to move or spend extra time on an inebriated person is extra liability.

Usually I’m of the mindset of live and let live. If the guys not causing issues leave him alone. But he obviously perked the FAs attention and in the end the crew made the safest decision for the passenger and the crew.

Safest decision would be to cancel the flight, abandon air travel and stay home. We were painfully reminded about that just a few days ago as almost 200 lives were lost in a crash.
Everything else is a risk management.
As for evacuation.. FAA allows quadriplegics travel, I suspect CAA does that as well. Which is a much higher level of required assistance. This particular person was traveling with the family, so asking the family to assume caretakers role should alleviate most concerns.
Only plausible scenario which should IMHO be considered is in-flight medical diversion, which is arguably not a safety issue for everyone on board. Until too may people with US passports who can have issues with US authorities after the plane is diverted.


A little dramatic don’t you think...

You don’t get to fly if your intoxicated.
Alchohol? Sleeping pills? Any other drug.


I would disagree with that. After all look at how many unscheduled landings RyanAir has done due to someone that boarded while intoxicated. So where do you get the "You don't get to fly in your intoxicated." I've also been on many US flights where there were problem drunks allowed to board.
 
kalvado
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:14 pm

ChrisKen wrote:
It took the passenger five minutes to wake up. ie not easily roused so the crew's initial concerns were valid.


Whatever it worth...
WS flight to Coca Cay (CCC) is scheduled for 9.20 AM. This is the only flight between two points.
Passenger is from BC on connecting flight.
If coming from BC directly, this is 6 AM of body clock, likely on top of red-eye flight. I doubt I would be very responsive in such situation....
 
hondah35
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:20 pm

ChrisKen wrote:
HPRamper wrote:
Being awake for takeoff is a requirement now? Am I missing something? I've probably slept through dozens of takeoffs.

No but a decent chance of being roused isn't unreasonable. The passenger had taken sleeping pills, if these had made him sleepy to the point of being difficult to awaken (think emergency), then I can understand why they were offloaded.

As always, there's at least three sides to a story.


What alternate airline universe do people on this board live in? I fly over 100 flights a year and frequently fall asleep before takeoff. I don't have some glaring medical condition, I just keep a hectic schedule throughout the day and when I am able to turn off my phone and relax for a few minutes after boarding, I frequently doze off. NEVER in years of flying have I ever been woke up except for maybe when I was asked to pull my set back fully forward.

Just another example of flight attendants being corrupted by their supposed "power"
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:42 pm

1. Man boards and is visibly lethargic/unhealthy.
2. Prior to closing the door, the FA sees him hunched over and tries to get his attention to make sure he is ok.
3. While trying to rouse him, family mentions that he is recovering from a stroke and on meds.
4. FA consults with pilot or other WS personnel and it's decided that there is a risk of a medical diversion and so they elect to deboard him.
5. Everyone and their brother comes to his defense, but the decision had been made and he was denied travel.

That may not be what happened, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities. FA on a power trip? Fine. It doesn't change the fact that he is not in a healthy state and they don't want to take the risk of diversion.

Anyhow, I'm going to leave the thread. I don't think there's a chance of consensus and we end up going rounds every time there's one of these news stories. I wasn't there so no point in me rattling on further.
-Dave


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steveinbc
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:43 pm

From my experience with WestJet this is very untypical behaviour for what is usually a Southwest like friendly and customer focused airline. So on balance this was an unusually strict employee or there was something more that hasnt been reported. I do have to state that many people are asleep or inattentive at take off and that in itself doesn't appear to me a standard reason for eviction.
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kalvado
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:47 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
1. Man boards and is visibly lethargic/unhealthy.
2. Prior to closing the door, the FA sees him hunched over and tries to get his attention to make sure he is ok.
3. While trying to rouse him, family mentions that he is recovering from a stroke and on meds.
4. FA consults with pilot or other WS personnel and it's decided that there is a risk of a medical diversion and so they elect to deboard him.
5. Everyone and their brother comes to his defense, but the decision had been made and he was denied travel.

That may not be what happened, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities. FA on a power trip? Fine. It doesn't change the fact that he is not in a healthy state and they don't want to take the risk of diversion.

Anyhow, I'm going to leave the thread. I don't think there's a chance of consensus and we end up going rounds every time there's one of these news stories. I wasn't there so no point in me rattling on further.

Very likely. Now add 4 statements from medical professionals into the equation. Spice it up with "rebooking on next flight" without a mention that next flight is next week. ANd you get a perfect picture of power trip escalated to a company level.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:53 pm

zeke wrote:
Not ridiculous at all. I think it is silly to fly so soon after having a stroke as you are treating a brain that is recovering from a lack of oxygen with an atmosphere that is lower on oxygen.

Maybe a sleeping pill will mask syntoms of a complication of a stoke.


You might be right, but just as I wouldn't argue with you about the finer points of piloting, how many medical professionals will you overrule?

Look, I get it. With you as a pilot and me as a doctor, both of us serve as team leaders with people working under our leadership. When one of those people has a concern, my immediate prejudice is to take her side (in my work, it's usually a "she") and back her up. But sometimes she's wrong. So when I disagree, we have a chat like adults and come to an agreement on what's right. I'm ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of my patients just as you are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of your passengers and crew. Sometimes, we have to exercise that responsibility in opposition to our staff. But one thing is for sure, my nurses and medical assistants trust me and understand that if I *do* ever overrule them, it's for a very good reason.
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JAGflyer
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:58 pm

This is why Medlink's fit-to-fly line exists. They are flight-specialists who can advise if a passenger will be OK to travel or not. Considering my experiences with calls I've been on with the crew/medlink (as a dispatcher we must listen on all calls to Medlink) I know their advice is very conservative. As soon as the word "stroke" is mentioned, there's a good chance they advised against him travelling. This probably occurred prior to him being seen by paramedics or getting a clear-to-fly from his own doctor after the fact. Medlink is usually the first call made on the ground or in the air when someone is ill as they are responsible for advising on all medical issues.
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CO953
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:44 am

Jouhou wrote:
CaptCoolHand wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Safest decision would be to cancel the flight, abandon air travel and stay home. We were painfully reminded about that just a few days ago as almost 200 lives were lost in a crash.
Everything else is a risk management.
As for evacuation.. FAA allows quadriplegics travel, I suspect CAA does that as well. Which is a much higher level of required assistance. This particular person was traveling with the family, so asking the family to assume caretakers role should alleviate most concerns.
Only plausible scenario which should IMHO be considered is in-flight medical diversion, which is arguably not a safety issue for everyone on board. Until too may people with US passports who can have issues with US authorities after the plane is diverted.


A little dramatic don’t you think...

You don’t get to fly if your intoxicated.
Alchohol? Sleeping pills? Any other drug.


Since when were sleeping pills not allowed? People get prescribed them specifically for long flights in cattle class.


Yeah, flew AAL cattle class 3-flight trip last week, way toward the back each time. It's called take an aisle seat,+ double Tito's vodka + Bloody Mary Mix, once an hour.
 
buzzard302
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:52 am

Guarantee the whole story is not evident. Because no one get removed from a plane for just falling asleep. If that were the case, not a single flight would ever take off.
 
yzfElite
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:22 am

longhauler wrote:
I would be very curious to know the other side of the story. Westjet aren't idiots. Against the advice of a nurse, then paramedics then the patient's actual physician, why would the cabin crew choose not to take him?

There must have been something else concerning them.


This.

Westjet are also now big enough that stories like this will arise and even if the flight attendant was having a bad day and wanted to boot them, mistakes/misjudgements do happen.

My best guess is that the companion not waking him and the FA having to go back a second time was enough. As noted, usually FAs do not go around looking for trouble.

I've had a few to many before flights before and if you cause no trouble then you find no trouble. Generally speaking when I see these stories I wonder about the other side of the story.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:58 am

kalvado wrote:
Aptivaboy wrote:
I may be going off one small tangent here, but do we know which seat he was in? If he was in a window seat, then I fail to see how him sleeping would constitute a hazard to anyone else in case of an evacuation. If he was in an aisle seat and passengers had to struggle over or around him to get out, then okay, I could perhaps see Westjet's point of view.

It was a family of 3, including 21 year old son of the sleepy guy. If they were sitting together, it can work either way; asking able-bodied adult male to assist his father with the evacuation if needed isn't too much from my perspective.

I have to assist my two young children in an emergency. Further, he isn’t considered blocking anyone if they are family. I learned this when I asked if we had to put our 1 year olds car seat by the window. They said not if the window seat is also occupied by a family member.

This is USA not Canada but I think Westjet over reacted then circled the wagons.
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QuickSilverNG
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:38 am

neutrino wrote:
I had in the past inadvertently dozed off during taxiing and takeoff, on separate occasions.
Whatever the reason, I was not "disturbed" at all by anybody.
Both incidents happened on afternoon flights after missing a whole night of sleep.


Same here Sir.

The most is being asked to keep the seatbelt visible to them.
 
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zeke
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:41 am

DocLightning wrote:

You might be right, but just as I wouldn't argue with you about the finer points of piloting, how many medical professionals will you overrule?

Look, I get it. With you as a pilot and me as a doctor, both of us serve as team leaders with people working under our leadership. When one of those people has a concern, my immediate prejudice is to take her side (in my work, it's usually a "she") and back her up. But sometimes she's wrong. So when I disagree, we have a chat like adults and come to an agreement on what's right. I'm ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of my patients just as you are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of your passengers and crew. Sometimes, we have to exercise that responsibility in opposition to our staff. But one thing is for sure, my nurses and medical assistants trust me and understand that if I *do* ever overrule them, it's for a very good reason.


It is not what I think or another medical professional on the spot thinks, my job like any other crew members is to follow the established procedures. The procedures do not permit this sort of local over ride.

When I go for my medical assessment I cannot just go to any doctor, I have to go to one with specific aeromedical training and accreditation.

When we carry passengers or crew who are ill or just out of hospital they also get a clearance from a doctor who has this specific aeromedical training.

Along with that assessment comes any restrictions like do we have to carry additional oxygen for them, donthe need a medical escort, do they need a mobility escort.

We are limited to one person who requires an assistant per door, so on a 737 that might be 4.

This is not a case of a crew member ignoring medical advice, it is a case of a crew member following their required procedures.
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Aptivaboy
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:08 am

When we carry passengers or crew who are ill or just out of hospital they also get a clearance from a doctor who has this specific aeromedical training.



Except that Westjet didn't do that, if that is indeed their policy. It may or may not. They asked for a nurse and two paramedics to examine the gentleman in question. Why do that at all if the decision was ultimately to deboard the passenger and not allow him to fly? Better question, why deboard him from this flight and then say he can fly on a later Westjet flight? If he's a medical risk, then he's a medical risk and shouldn't be flying at all.

It sounds to me like someone overreacted, perhaps had a little power trip, who knows, and as another poster stated Westjet decided to circle the wagons.
 
Bhoy
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:13 am

Obviously, there is more than one side to this story, but quoting from the article "Once on board, he fell asleep in the lap of his wife", that suggests to me that he may have had the armrest up, so he could lie in a more horizontal position (albeit I'm not sure I could manage to get into that position myself). And surely it's that more than anything that alerted the crew; it's not as if he was sleeping resting his head on her shoulder or anything.


Going by flightradar24, the flight (WS2504) on Saturday 13 October was a Boeing 737-800, STD was 9:30am EDT, and Aircraft started moving from the Gate at 10:18 (Airborne 10:27). So I also end up thinking if it was highly unlikely for the guy's doctor in BC to have e-mailed something through prior to Departure - he had two assessments (nurse and paramedics, who had to be called), contacted his Doctor in BC (bearing in mind that if it was 9:30am in Toronto, it was Saturday 6:30am in Vancouver) and got a reply, all within 48 minutes? Especially as part of the delay would have been waiting for a new slot once the Paramedics had offboarded him, and the family's luggage had been removed. That's going some! Could it be that the Doctor's e-mail was just used at the Service Desk to justify rebooking?


And Westjet Vacations only offered a rebooking on their next flight - 7 days later. For a 7 day vacation. So were they offering to fly him to Cuba, then immediately back on the same Aircraft when his 'Vacation' ended per the original timeframe, or were they proposing to move the whole Vacation (including the full 7 days All Inclusive Hotel stay) back by a week? Surely that would have been better than spending $1226 on Air Canada flights, and missing out on two nights inclusive accommodation? Yes, I get they'd have had 7 nights in Toronto rather than 2 then, and there would have been a question of time off work to be considered, too - but something doesn't add up about this side of the story, either.
 
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zeke
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:42 am

Aptivaboy wrote:
Except that Westjet didn't do that, if that is indeed their policy. It may or may not. They asked for a nurse and two paramedics to examine the gentleman in question. Why do that at all if the decision was ultimately to deboard the passenger and not allow him to fly? Better question, why deboard him from this flight and then say he can fly on a later Westjet flight? If he's a medical risk, then he's a medical risk and shouldn't be flying at all.

It sounds to me like someone overreacted, perhaps had a little power trip, who knows, and as another poster stated Westjet decided to circle the wagons.


We carry passengers with medical risks all the time, that is done by assessing if they have any specific needs, and the limit on the number of passengers with needs on a specific flight.

Thing is this is all done properly where the aeromedical doctors in advance of the date of travel can assess the medical reports and if necessary contact the treating doctor and have everything in place.

An aeroplane is one of the worst places to become acutely ill, it takes a long time to get someone to hospital.
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Gabrielz
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:02 am

Such ridiculous power tripping by the flight deck and FAs (and their supporters on here).

Simply put, there is no statutory rule in Canada requiring passengers be awake during any phase of flight. You can sleep through the whole thing if that’s what you want to do.

There is also no explicit requirement anywhere in the COC or FARs that requires you to be “easily awakened” by a member of crew.

The airline would lose in court and certainly will lose in the court of public opinion. Overall a terrible decision, and just like UA, backing up REPREHENSIBLE CREW BEHAVIOR should not be tolerated.

-G
 
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flyingsikh
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:56 am

Multiple medical personnel cleared the fellow to fly....he should have been allowed to fly.

If Westjet was worried about the stroke...they wouldn’t haven’t offered another flight a week later.

As for this nonsense of the passenger not being alert for a couple mins....well, that’s just rubbish.

I don’t know how many times I’ve worked a 12 hour night shift, jumped on a plane, passed out, and then wake up 3 hours later. I ain’t alert...I’m a zombie till I get some fresh air.

Hopefully whoever made the final call to not allow this passenger on board is dealt with for ignoring the medical advice of multiple medical professionals.
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EA CO AS
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:37 pm

ChrisKen wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
Where does it say the crew knew he had taken sleeping pills? Nowhere in the article, and nowhere in the statement from WS, either..

It took the passenger five minutes to wake up. ie not easily roused so the crew's initial concerns were valid. The later decisions will in all probability have gone further up the food chain.

I also said there's always at least three sides to a story so kindly dismount that high horse.


With respect, drop the attitude. The article said he was awake and alert within five minutes, and I think we can agree that being roused from a sound sleep while you're in what you perceive to be a safe situation, seated quietly on an airplane or in your own bed for that matter, can take time as opposed to being woken for an urgent matter such as a flight attendant wanting to talk to you or an actual emergency. Besides, the safety component - which anyone here can tell you, I'm a staunch advocate for when it comes to erring on the side of the crew - is negated by the fact that he was clearly traveling with family who could aid in his evacuation from the aircraft should an emergency arise.
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Whiteguy
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:58 pm

Bottom line is, no one making comments here was involved in the situation and are getting their info, “facts”, and opinions based on a media story! There’s a lot more to this then what has been written and will probably never be public information!!
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:00 pm

I once heard a story about a family that took sleeping pills just after takeoff on a 12 hour flight from HK to London. Shortly after they had taken the pills the aircraft developed an mechanical fault and had to come back to land at Hong Kong. Everyone had to get off the plane but they couldn't wake this family up, so they worked on the engine with them on board. Later, the plane took off with an 8 hour delay and the family woke up after a few hours and were surprised to learn that they still had most of the flight ahead of them.
 
sixtyseven
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:16 pm

zeke wrote:
DocLightning wrote:

You might be right, but just as I wouldn't argue with you about the finer points of piloting, how many medical professionals will you overrule?

Look, I get it. With you as a pilot and me as a doctor, both of us serve as team leaders with people working under our leadership. When one of those people has a concern, my immediate prejudice is to take her side (in my work, it's usually a "she") and back her up. But sometimes she's wrong. So when I disagree, we have a chat like adults and come to an agreement on what's right. I'm ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of my patients just as you are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of your passengers and crew. Sometimes, we have to exercise that responsibility in opposition to our staff. But one thing is for sure, my nurses and medical assistants trust me and understand that if I *do* ever overrule them, it's for a very good reason.


It is not what I think or another medical professional on the spot thinks, my job like any other crew members is to follow the established procedures. The procedures do not permit this sort of local over ride.

When I go for my medical assessment I cannot just go to any doctor, I have to go to one with specific aeromedical training and accreditation.

When we carry passengers or crew who are ill or just out of hospital they also get a clearance from a doctor who has this specific aeromedical training.

Along with that assessment comes any restrictions like do we have to carry additional oxygen for them, donthe need a medical escort, do they need a mobility escort.

We are limited to one person who requires an assistant per door, so on a 737 that might be 4.

This is not a case of a crew member ignoring medical advice, it is a case of a crew member following their required procedures.


How do you know this with so little known?

You seem to discard the fact that maybe this FA/crew made a bad call and cover it with a blanket of “procedure”. Procedures can be botched. People make terrible calls and have a situation snowball out of control where a pride/image situation leads to a stubbornness that prevents the right thing from being done. Hard to make a u turn at high speed.

Your instant backing for industry colleagues is admirable but maybe realize this person might have been an idiot just like the passenger might have. And at least the passenger had contact with a medical practitioner who was familiar with the specifics of the case.
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zeke
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:44 pm

There are lots of procedures that airlines do that are different to other industries, and even between airlines procedures differ. The common aspect is that procedures have to be followed, they are in place for a reason.

The fact that you do not agree with the procedure, or in your view the procedure is silly is a moot point. Employees are required to follow their company procedures, not what a member of the public tells them to do.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
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Tugger
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:50 pm

zeke wrote:
There are lots of procedures that airlines do that are different to other industries, and even between airlines procedures differ. The common aspect is that procedures have to be followed, they are in place for a reason.

The fact that you do not agree with the procedure, or in your view the procedure is silly is a moot point. Employees are required to follow their company procedures, not what a member of the public tells them to do.

What you are saying in your post above does not actually support your contention, that what was done by the WestJet crew was correct and appropriate, at all. Simply put: You don't know that it was correct. But I am getting the impression from your other posts that you are supporting the action absolutely, that it was correct. Am I missing something?

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
stlgph
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:17 pm

....and for this year's `Christmas Miracle', dream vacations to Cuba!
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
Passedv1
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:32 pm

I don't know what happened on this flight, however, way too much is being relied upon by these other "medical professionals." As has been stated before you don't know what their background is. The flight crew has no way to verify these people have the knowledge and experience that they are claiming to have. What does it mean to be a "nurse" or a "paramedic" or a "doctor" anyway. There is a big difference between a "nurse" that works in a doctor's office, a "nurse" that works at an outpatient surgery center, and a "nurse" that is the head of triage at a NYC emergency room.

What else needs to be made clear is that when the crew asks for medical professionals, they are not asking so that the doctors or whomever raise their hand can make any judgments, it is to help the MEDLINK doctor assess the patient. We'd rather have a nurse/paramecic taking blood pressures, pulses, checking pupils so that when the information is relayed to the MEDLINK doc he can have confidence that the information he is getting is valid. The MEDLINK doc is the one that gets to make the final RECOMMENDATION from an aeromedical point of view. The CAPTAIN, in consultation with the MEDLINK doc and FA's makes the final DECISION if someone stays or goes considering the medical reasons and operational reasons.

I was flying OGG-SEA (Maui) when the FA's call up and tells us they have a passenger that is going "in and out of consciousness", vomiting, fever, and has a high blood sugar. They had a nurse in the back and said that her blood sugar was "350". We were about 1 hour from the CP so at this point in the flight we would be going back to Maui. Nurse was insisting that we turn around immediately back to Maui. We started setting up the MEDLINK patch and while the FA's were talking to the doc we started figuring out our routing, fuel burns etc. for what seemed like an imminent recommendation to turn around. I was SHOCKED when the MEDLINK doctors recommendation was oxygen and anti-nausea medicine , call back if major change or in 60 minutes, we will setup paramedics in SEA. What?

5 minutes later we get a call from the FA that the nurse is insistent that we turn the airplane around and that he is shocked that we are continuing. He is mainly concerned about the high blood sugar and the fact that the sugar level has been increasing. He is afraid "we are going to lose her". He is agitated.

I call MEDLINK back and get the doc on the phone and talk to her myself reiterating the concerns that this nurse is telling me. She seemed annoyed at me and simply reiterated her original recommendation.

At this point we are probably 30-45 minutes from the CP (half way) and I came very close to over-ruling the MEDLINK doc and taking the medically more conservative route to return to Maui. In the end I decided to trust the MEDLINK doc, not take the operational/safety risk of turning around and we continued.

By the time we got to SEA she was better.

When I got home, I told my wife, who happens to be an ICU nurse, the story. I laid out the woman's symptoms and told her about the nurse that wanted us to return to Hawaii. Her reaction was an astounded "REALLY, Why!" What I learned is that a really high blood sugar at an immediate time scale is not life threatening. It is really bad for you, it kills your organs, it is definitely something to take seriously but it is not something you are going to die of in the next 12 hours. She then said, she is pretty clearly coming down with some kind of flu/cold. I asked her how she knew that...it turns out the fever was the tip-off indicating some kind of viral infection, when a diabetic is fighting an infection the substances that your body makes to fight the infection interferes with insulins ability to digest sugar, so when diabetics get infections, their blood sugar tends to rise, sometimes well above their normal baseline levels.

If she had had a LOW blood sugar we probably would have been going back to Maui.

As part of her job she answers the triage line at the hospital. If you call the hospital, she would be the one to tell you if you should come to the ER or not. She ran the symptoms through her triage manual and the recommendation was to "call your primary care physician on the next work day."

I sure am glad I didn't decide to divert.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:49 pm

The flight attendant in question needs to be put on the unemployment line. One power hungry individual is ruining it for everyone.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
jimbo737
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:49 pm

WestJet carries tens of thousands of people every day.

Do you really think they decided to pick on this one person for no particular reason?

Think about the timing of the event. How much time usually elapses between boarding and pushback? Maybe 10 minutes?

How long a delay did WJ take to give this character the time to establish that he was in no danger to himself or anyone else on board because of his ingestion of sleeping pills or his recent medical event? Is WS expected to delay the travel plans of 160+ other passengers both outbound and on the return legs for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, whilst this guy gets his ducks in a row?

Was this guy going on a weekly flight to CCC? If so, chances are it operated on a Saturday. How quickly could YOU get a hold of your attending physician on a Saturday? Within 5 - 10 mins? I doubt it.

Most airlines, including WS, rely on Medlink for medical advice. I'll bet they called the service and it was recommended that the passenger did not fly.

What happens if the aircraft, on its way to Cuba, had to divert in the US with US citizens aboard?

What happens if there is a medical emergency and this person ends up in a Cuban hospital with no insurance and no feasible way to be be evacuated?

I'll guarantee there is way, way, way more to this story.
 
sixtyseven
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:21 pm

jimbo737 wrote:
WestJet carries tens of thousands of people every day.

Do you really think they decided to pick on this one person for no particular reason?

Think about the timing of the event. How much time usually elapses between boarding and pushback? Maybe 10 minutes?

How long a delay did WJ take to give this character the time to establish that he was in no danger to himself or anyone else on board because of his ingestion of sleeping pills or his recent medical event? Is WS expected to delay the travel plans of 160+ other passengers both outbound and on the return legs for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, whilst this guy gets his ducks in a row?

Was this guy going on a weekly flight to CCC? If so, chances are it operated on a Saturday. How quickly could YOU get a hold of your attending physician on a Saturday? Within 5 - 10 mins? I doubt it.

Most airlines, including WS, rely on Medlink for medical advice. I'll bet they called the service and it was recommended that the passenger did not fly.

What happens if the aircraft, on its way to Cuba, had to divert in the US with US citizens aboard?

What happens if there is a medical emergency and this person ends up in a Cuban hospital with no insurance and no feasible way to be be evacuated?

I'll guarantee there is way, way, way more to this story.


I think Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba, no?
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kalvado
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:37 pm

There is zero indication that Medlink was consulted. Moreover, WS commented on the issue after it became headline news; if they had recorded Medlink call to back them - one would think they would mention that in the statement. Instead, they do back the CREW decision.
My bet what happened, pax was removed from the manifest when deboard call was made, and gate agent had no way to put them back onto delaying flight. So they had to make sure manifest matches the load by tweaking the load instead.
 
DeltaB717
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:38 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
zeke wrote:
Not ridiculous at all. I think it is silly to fly so soon after having a stroke as you are treating a brain that is recovering from a lack of oxygen with an atmosphere that is lower on oxygen.

Maybe a sleeping pill will mask syntoms of a complication of a stoke.

Maybe the passenger had not told the airline they recently had a stroke and had no clearance to fly from the airline medical provider. The medical clearance says things like we accept you as a passenger however if you fall ill or pass away we are not diverting.

Only one side of the story.


Again a pilot who imagines that learning to fly brings knowledge on medical issues. It seems that everybody connected to medicine in this case, including this guys physician, were overruled by the people knowing about flying.
If a medical practitioner would tell you out of his medical knowledge that your plane is not safe to fly you would accept that?


It strikes me that we actually might not have heard from "everybody connected to medicine in this case" - what did the Medlink doctor (or the doctor from whichever Medlink-equivalent WS contracts to) say about this passenger? At the end of the day, that is the most qualified medical professional to provide advice to an airline, as they specialise in medicine in the aviation environment.

Also, Zeke is a long haul pilot and a respected member of this board - whilst he mightn't be a doctor, I for one certainly value his input in the discussion on this forum and a lot of us can learn a lot from his knowledge and experience. In this particular instance, he is likely to be the ultimate decision-maker in circumstances such as this...
 
sixtyseven
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:10 pm

DeltaB717 wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
zeke wrote:
Not ridiculous at all. I think it is silly to fly so soon after having a stroke as you are treating a brain that is recovering from a lack of oxygen with an atmosphere that is lower on oxygen.

Maybe a sleeping pill will mask syntoms of a complication of a stoke.

Maybe the passenger had not told the airline they recently had a stroke and had no clearance to fly from the airline medical provider. The medical clearance says things like we accept you as a passenger however if you fall ill or pass away we are not diverting.

Only one side of the story.


Again a pilot who imagines that learning to fly brings knowledge on medical issues. It seems that everybody connected to medicine in this case, including this guys physician, were overruled by the people knowing about flying.
If a medical practitioner would tell you out of his medical knowledge that your plane is not safe to fly you would accept that?


It strikes me that we actually might not have heard from "everybody connected to medicine in this case" - what did the Medlink doctor (or the doctor from whichever Medlink-equivalent WS contracts to) say about this passenger? At the end of the day, that is the most qualified medical professional to provide advice to an airline, as they specialise in medicine in the aviation environment.

Also, Zeke is a long haul pilot and a respected member of this board - whilst he mightn't be a doctor, I for one certainly value his input in the discussion on this forum and a lot of us can learn a lot from his knowledge and experience. In this particular instance, he is likely to be the ultimate decision-maker in circumstances such as this...


Good for zeke.

I guess we can’t disagree with him because he’s a long haul pilot? Or because you respect him? Give me a break.

Some of the pilots on here remind me of the types that would go down to the local flight school wearing their uniform. Real big timers
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barney captain
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:17 am

sixtyseven wrote:
DeltaB717 wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:

Again a pilot who imagines that learning to fly brings knowledge on medical issues. It seems that everybody connected to medicine in this case, including this guys physician, were overruled by the people knowing about flying.
If a medical practitioner would tell you out of his medical knowledge that your plane is not safe to fly you would accept that?


It strikes me that we actually might not have heard from "everybody connected to medicine in this case" - what did the Medlink doctor (or the doctor from whichever Medlink-equivalent WS contracts to) say about this passenger? At the end of the day, that is the most qualified medical professional to provide advice to an airline, as they specialise in medicine in the aviation environment.

Also, Zeke is a long haul pilot and a respected member of this board - whilst he mightn't be a doctor, I for one certainly value his input in the discussion on this forum and a lot of us can learn a lot from his knowledge and experience. In this particular instance, he is likely to be the ultimate decision-maker in circumstances such as this...


Good for zeke.

I guess we can’t disagree with him because he’s a long haul pilot? Or because you respect him? Give me a break.

Some of the pilots on here remind me of the types that would go down to the local flight school wearing their uniform. Real big timers


And people wonder why so many experienced industry professionals leave this site. :shakehead:
Southeast Of Disorder
 
smartplane
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:25 am

barney captain wrote:
sixtyseven wrote:
DeltaB717 wrote:

It strikes me that we actually might not have heard from "everybody connected to medicine in this case" - what did the Medlink doctor (or the doctor from whichever Medlink-equivalent WS contracts to) say about this passenger? At the end of the day, that is the most qualified medical professional to provide advice to an airline, as they specialise in medicine in the aviation environment.

Also, Zeke is a long haul pilot and a respected member of this board - whilst he mightn't be a doctor, I for one certainly value his input in the discussion on this forum and a lot of us can learn a lot from his knowledge and experience. In this particular instance, he is likely to be the ultimate decision-maker in circumstances such as this...


Good for zeke.

I guess we can’t disagree with him because he’s a long haul pilot? Or because you respect him? Give me a break.

Some of the pilots on here remind me of the types that would go down to the local flight school wearing their uniform. Real big timers


And people wonder why so many experienced industry professionals leave this site. :shakehead:

Agree.
 
hmflyer
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:27 pm

Canada may have different regulations, but US FAR 121.575(c) states:
No certificate holder may allow any person to board any of its aircraft if that person appears to be intoxicated.

Among the definitions of intoxication is:
affected by alcohol or drugs especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished

So as per FAR 121, the regulations by which large passenger carriers operate, they may have had no choice but to remove the passenger if it was a US carrier. I would be wiling to bet there is a similar regulation for Canadian carriers. Taking a powerful sleeping pill prior to takeoff may be problematic.

Gate agents don't usually like to deal with these issues so they allow such passengers to board for the flight crew to deal with.

Note the wording is appears to be. They don't have to be actually intoxicated to be subject to removal. Ultimately up to the PIC or his delegates. And yes, it comes down to impairing an evacuation. We can argue all day about the 95 year old impairing evacuation as well, but this is what the regulations say.

The medical professionals cannot over ride the regulations. If he hadn't taken sleeping pill he likely would have been fine.

I am sometimes amused that so many on here think crew members are on a power trip. Once in a while that may be true but the vast majority of the time we are simply abiding by regulations, which usually aren't known to the general public.


Hope this helps.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:53 pm

barney captain wrote:
sixtyseven wrote:
DeltaB717 wrote:

It strikes me that we actually might not have heard from "everybody connected to medicine in this case" - what did the Medlink doctor (or the doctor from whichever Medlink-equivalent WS contracts to) say about this passenger? At the end of the day, that is the most qualified medical professional to provide advice to an airline, as they specialise in medicine in the aviation environment.

Also, Zeke is a long haul pilot and a respected member of this board - whilst he mightn't be a doctor, I for one certainly value his input in the discussion on this forum and a lot of us can learn a lot from his knowledge and experience. In this particular instance, he is likely to be the ultimate decision-maker in circumstances such as this...


Good for zeke.

I guess we can’t disagree with him because he’s a long haul pilot? Or because you respect him? Give me a break.

Some of the pilots on here remind me of the types that would go down to the local flight school wearing their uniform. Real big timers


And people wonder why so many experienced industry professionals leave this site. :shakehead:


Are you also one of the pilots that believe learning to fly gives them in insight in the medical profession and the knowledge to overrule an MD? Why is it that pilots think of themselves very highly and look down on a profession having had to learn for 10 to 13 years until pronounced a specialist in their profession?

So a pilot posting here is a professional and a MD posting is an amateur regarding medical questions?
 
barney captain
Posts: 1976
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:47 pm

Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:22 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
barney captain wrote:
sixtyseven wrote:

Good for zeke.

I guess we can’t disagree with him because he’s a long haul pilot? Or because you respect him? Give me a break.

Some of the pilots on here remind me of the types that would go down to the local flight school wearing their uniform. Real big timers


And people wonder why so many experienced industry professionals leave this site. :shakehead:


Are you also one of the pilots that believe learning to fly gives them in insight in the medical profession and the knowledge to overrule an MD? Why is it that pilots think of themselves very highly and look down on a profession having had to learn for 10 to 13 years until pronounced a specialist in their profession?

So a pilot posting here is a professional and a MD posting is an amateur regarding medical questions?


I neither wrote, implied or believe any of that.

But thanks for making my point.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
sixtyseven
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:43 pm

The reason many experienced pros leave this site are because the same experienced pros are hanging around essentially showing off. Some are good but by god don’t have a difference of opinion.

Others leave because they realize the majority of the people on here just want to take a picture of an airplane. Have a ride on a different one (which there is nothing wrong with), or complain about something (seat width/pitch blah blah) or have an axe to grind.

Many leave because they don’t need to prove a point or need the “respect” of complete strangers to make them feel good about themselves.
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strfyr51
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Re: Man removed from WestJet flight after falling asleep prior to takeoff.

Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:00 am

cschleic wrote:
Not to mention..... while the concept of being awake during take off certainly has a safety component, in the event of an emergency, I've seen plenty of people (myself included) who have fallen asleep prior to take off on a flight, especially at night. Hopefully more to the story here.

This is crazy, before I retired I Many times I flew home from Chicago to San Francisco on my Friday nearly every week. I got off work after working a 12 hour shift and stayed awake JUST Long enough to get on board and take my seat. .
. Many times I never even Heard the safety briefing because I was already Knocked out. I usually woke up about midway into the trip tp go to the bathroom. but not every time..

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