Southwest Airlines idly allows a man to commit suicide
According to NBC, a Southwest Airlines passenger from Wisconsin was aboard a Southwest flight bound for Milwaukee from New Orleans when she received a text message from her husband saying that he was about to commit suicide.
Shortly after Karen Momsen-Evers, the wife, boarded the plane she received the text message from her husband, she then attempted to phone her husband to try to intervene. However, when she tried to call her husband, a Southwest flight attendant stopped her by “slapp[ing] the phone down and [saying], ‘You need to go on airplane mode now.’”
When Momsen-Evers tried to explain the situation to the flight attendant she quoted FAA regulations for her decision to not allow the call to go forward.
Once Momsen-Evers landed in Milwaukee she was informed that her husband had died from committing suicide.
According to a statement released by Southwest, “flight attendants are trained to notify the captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers on-board,” it continued on to say that “in this situation, the pilots were not notified.”
Momsen-Evers believes that the phone call could have potentially saved her husband from committing suicide. Southwest did release intheir statement saying that “our hearts go out to Mrs. Momsen-Evers.”
The problem I see with this is, I know rules are rules, but you should without a second of hesitation allow a passenger to make an emergency phone call like that. Mrs. Momsen-Evers told them the reason for the phone call, it would have been the moral thing to allow her a quick five minute phone call. If the phone call then extended beyond a reasonable time, the passenger should be given the chance to disembark and handle it as best as they can. Lets be honest, most of the time we see flight attendants using their phones (whether on/off airplane mode), and other annoying passengers just talking about useless nonsense even after the aircraft pulls away from the gate.
Clearly, there should be some sort of exception here. Southwest, could have, potentially, saved a life. Quite disappointed by this news. Southwest’s flight attendant should be ashamed and the airline should take appropriate action against the flight attendant as well as training flight attendants to handle these sort of scenarios.