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Ryanair is Serious as a Heart Attack About Charging Dying Passenger for Sandwich

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by copythat

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In The News

Per-Erik Jonsson, a 63-year old Swede was a passenger basically dying of a heart attack on a Ryanair flight when a nurse by the name of Appleton was able to slap the man's chest and get him breathing again. The Ryanair Airlines' reaction to a dying plane passenger: Sell the ailing victim a ham sandwich and maybe a soda. Seriously.
Nurse Appleton claims Ryanair crew had no reaction when Per-Erik Jonsson was suffering from a heart attack during one of its July 2011 plane flights. She says Ryanair Airlines flight attendants or crew members only reacted when the nurse shouted for a doctor, or cried out that the Swedish man needed oxygen. Reportedly Appleton slapped the 63-year-old Jonsson in the chest to get the Swedish man breathing again after he had been suffering from a heart attack during the Ryanair flight.
EU regulations deem all cabin crew as required to be trained in First Aid.
But rather than Ryanair cabin crew stepping in to help provide emergency First Aid, the claim against the airline is that flight attendants did nothing to assist – except, perhaps, provide food and liquid to help with what someone deemed low blood pressure. The allegation is that Ryainair then actually charged for the food: "[The flight attendants] said he [the man who suffered a heart attack] had low blood pressure and gave him a ham sandwich and a soda. And they made sure he [Jonsson] paid for it," the victim’s daughter, Billie Appleton, told Swedish media.
The family involved with that in-air catastrophe is not only demanding an apology from Ryanair, it's reportedly considering suing the airline.
Somebody at Ryanair better think fast. Perhaps there should’ve been a consideration about refunding those few pounds the airline reportedly charged a heart attack victim for a sandwich and soda – all while in the midst of a life-threatening, in-air crisis.
As for Per-Erik Jonsson: He'd better thank his lucky stars – or whatever he believes in – for that nurse who was on board the Ryanair flight. He may well not be alive otherwise.
Ryanair told Swedish media: "In line with procedures for such cases, a Ryanair cabin crew suggested a diversion to the nearest airport or to have an ambulance on stand-by on arrival at Skavsta, so that the passenger could receive medical treatment (because God forbid the airline do both)...However, the passenger’s companion, who identified herself as a nurse, declined this offer."
That "companion" Ryanair refers to was not even Jonsson's wife. Apparently now any passenger's word on medical treatment, whether from family or not, is as good as gold. Of course, that's not saying those words came from the nurse either.
Not surprisingly, the family denies Ryanair's version of events -- and expresses shock that no ambulance was waiting for plane, carrying a heart attack victim, upon landing. Family says the heart attack victim had to be loaded into a vehicle and transported personally in a private vehicle after the Ryanair plane landed -- driving the ailing man to a hospital instead of being able to access an ambulance for the victim.
Of course the Ryanair version of events doesn't make sense. Even a nurse isn’t going to turn down medical assistance. And, nurse or not, no one’s going to be able to do a lot while on board a flight without proper equipment, doctors, or a way to stabilize a patient or ensure against an additional heart attack or even possible fatality. Even in the best-case scenario -- that the heart attack victim has lived to see the end of a flight -- no one in their right mind would be turning down emergency medical assistance for when that victim actually arrives on land.
And, it would seem, no company in its right mind – that wishes to avoid a visit to court and the probability of some serious legal issues – is going to be stupid (or cheap) enough not to provide an ambulance for a landing flight where an emergency has occurred).
But, then, companies do extremely stupid things every day.
It seems about the only thing Ryanair did ensure during the flight involving a heart attack was to make sure the family paid for snacks: The Ryanair cabin crew or flight attendants were supposedly quick on their feet -- in ensuring that snacks handed out by the crew members were paid for.
Considering Ryanair's history and reputation, none of it is exactly surprising. The most surprising part may be that a man, who had a serious medical emergency while on board a flight, is still alive.
It was only months ago, during what was supposed to be a ‘happy’ holiday season, that Ryanair Airlines left passengers on a flight in December 2010 – a plane full of passengers waiting on a Gothenburg Airport in Sweden runway, stranded for five hours without food or drink while the airline dealt with ice issues. Unfortunately for Ryanair, it’s the age of technology: Previously-boarded passengers on that Ryanair flight actively texted friends and family about the fact no one was allowed to leave the grounded plane – and that flight attendants or crew also refused to give drinks to screaming or upset kids on board.
Just the month before, in November 2011, a Ryanair flight that was originally destined for France instead landed in Belgium. No one really said anything to passengers who didn’t plan on exiting in Belgium. It’s bad when passengers are so furious that they literally band together – like refusing to get off a plane because they’re so pissed.
Then in February 2011, more than 100 Belgian passengers got stranded in Lanzarote’s Guacimeta airport. The source for that passenger stranding in Belgium: A mutiny over Ryanair baggage fees. Police were called to escort those causing the mutiny off the flight, but the incident wasn’t exactly a huge surprise. After being dubbed the worst family brand in 2009, LCC Ryanair began 2010 by getting into what became a public argument with the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The UK’s OFT agency was kind of complaining about what it deems as Ryanair’s abuse of consumer protection regulations. The airline had been charging about £5 pounds per passenger for every plane ticket, on every online booking.
The problem is, it appeared as a unique scam that triggered airline passengers pay about £5 pounds above the listed ticket price for a flight. Supposedly customers could avoid the Ryanair fee surcharge if they booked the ticket using the virtually-unknown ‘Visa Electron’ credit card. It all seemed to prove an easy and effective way for Ryanair to dodge United Kingdom ticket pricing regulations – as the airline continued to garner an extra five pounds per ticket on the majority of online tickets purchased, in a scenario where it was virtually impossible for the majority of customers to bypass the fee.
Perhaps too many people acquired the pretty-much-unheard-of ‘Visa Electron’ card: Ryanair changed its "no fee" option from the previously-utilized Visa Electron to the absolutely obscure ‘Mastercard Prepaid’ credit card.
And all hell broke loose when Office of Fair Trading's chief executive John Fingletontook pointed out the obvious – that Ryanair seemed to be hiding that five-pound fee behind an obscure payment option that the majority of customers would never be accessing to bypass the fee.
In other words, Per-Erik Jonsson: Well wishes -- and don’t be surprised Ryanair might think to charge you £5 pounds or so for an in-flight ham sandwich or food following a heart attack. The airline's fees, and 'customer service' are legendary. Perhaps it's time to consider a different airline. Life is kind of irreplaceable.

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