When Flight Attendants won’t help

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

  • PointyMark
    Participant

    My sister flew home from Cyprus with her two daughters last week on British Airways.

    The flight was particularly turbulent, with thunderstorms over a wide area of Europe. The younger daughter became very distressed and was, unfortunately, sick – but everything made it into the seat-back sick bag.

    Shortly afterwards an FA saw my sister holding the sick bag and asked if it was full. My sister went to hand the bag to the FA, but she then said “Oh no, we don’t do that; you’ll have to take it to the toilet to empty, yourself”.

    And so, with the cabin rocking and rolling and the seatbelt light justifiably ‘on’, my sister had to carry the bag down the aisle to the lav!

    I couldn’t believe this happened – not only a miserable lack of help for a lone parent and a visibly unwell child, but a breach of safety procedures by being told to go to the lavs when the seatbelt sign was illuminated and the aircraft was clearly unsteady.

    So it got me wondering if BT readers have come across other matters where a reasonable expectation of assistance from cabin crew has been rejected.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Unfortunately vomit is considered a biohasard these days.
    As cabin crew deal with passengers food and drink it is very possible that they are not permitted to touch used sick bags at all or without wearing gloves.
    I don’t know this as a fact but suspect that this is the reason that no assistance was offered.
    It was very unfortunate that no explanation was given or empathy expressed
    Others here with airline experience will I am sure know the exact position on this.

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    ….. with the cabin rocking and rolling and the seatbelt light justifiably ‘on’, my sister had to carry the bag down the aisle to the lav!
    ……… a breach of safety procedures by being told to go to the lavs when the seatbelt sign was illuminated and the aircraft was clearly unsteady.

    But if she’d tried to get up to go the loo of her own volition under those circumstances she’d probably have been firmly told to sit down.

    The crew may well have been following ‘procedure’ but then there is a contradiction between the procedures for two different situations, a discrepancy which needs to be looked at. Alternatively perhaps the crew member was wrong.


    mkcol74
    Participant

    All the crew member needed to do was explain WHY they were unable to handle to bag of vomit, which I agree with @cwoodward as it’s a biohazard.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    I am not conversant with regulations but can understand the crew response in this situation.

    The turbulence was clearly a factor, but the fact that crew were moving around the cabin suggests it was not extreme.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    AircraftLover
    Participant

    When turbulence is present throughout the flight, there are usually more sick passengers on board

    The crew was probably taking care of other sick passengers as well

    The cabin crew should not touch bio-hazardous materials without protective gloves

    Especially, while serving drinks or meals, to passengers or pilots

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    Bizarrely, I can’t consciously remember the last time I saw a sick bag in the seat pocket in front of me. And in the case of Ryanair, can’t remember seeing a seat pocket!!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The cabin crew should not touch bio-hazardous materials without protective gloves

    Do cabin crew wear gloves when they go to the toilet – without being too descriptive, I am sure they are just as close to bio whatever it is substances….


    SimonS1
    Participant

    The cabin crew should not touch bio-hazardous materials without protective gloves

    Do cabin crew wear gloves when they go to the toilet – without being too descriptive, I am sure they are just as close to bio whatever it is substances….

    Not sure it is really that simplistic. What about potential exposure to Hepatitis and the likes?

    Put another way, the doctor at my local surgery wore gloves when I cut my head playing football as she would with any blood injury. However would she wear gloves when dealing with her own cuts and bruises I wonder?


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I’ve only vomited once on a flight, from Frankfurt to Milan with Lufthansa about 2 years ago, following a long haul flight where something did not agree with me. Not from the plane I should add as I ate nothing on the first flight. I was in the front row in Business and the stewardess immediately came to my help, bringing a large glass of water and some towels for my face. She also removed the sick bag and disposed of it for me.

    But I guess that’s the difference between LH and BA!!


    K1ngston
    Participant

    I know that if someone stuck a full sick bag in front of me and asked me to dispose of it I would also refuse! Is it part of their remit to actually do that? Question more than statement!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    was in the front row in Business and the stewardess immediately came to my help, bringing a large glass of water and some towels for my face. She also removed the sick bag and disposed of it for me.

    Well LP, I suspect that the difference isn’t the airline , more the class of travel……

    I was under the impression that anyone flying in the premium cabins wouldn’t be bio hazardous , unlike us goat herder’s in the back plagued with all sort of working class maladies : )

    I know that if someone stuck a full sick bag in front of me and asked me to dispose of it I would also refuse! Is it part of their remit to actually do that? Question more than statement!

    If that happened to me, you’d need another sick bag rapider than you can say “rapid ”

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    was in the front row in Business and the stewardess immediately came to my help, bringing a large glass of water and some towels for my face. She also removed the sick bag and disposed of it for me.

    Well LP, I suspect that the difference isn’t the airline , more the class of travel……

    I was under the impression that anyone flying in the premium cabins wouldn’t be bio hazardous , unlike us goat herder’s in the back plagued with all sort of working class maladies : )

    I know that if someone stuck a full sick bag in front of me and asked me to dispose of it I would also refuse! Is it part of their remit to actually do that? Question more than statement!

    If that happened to me, you’d need another sick bag rapider than you can say “rapid ”

    I hear ya canucklad, I hear ya!!!


    christopheL
    Participant

    So strange the CC didn’t want to remove the sick bag ????
    I may understand they need gloves to do this (another way for the CC to deal with this issue would have been to wash their hands afterward…) but I can imagine they have some onboard.
    It would be interesting to ask BA what is the right policy in such a case. Is it the right solution to let the passenger with his/her sick bag full of vomit ?
    I would be more than surprised.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    rferguson
    Participant

    It is an issue where discretion needs to be used. Also keeping in mind we are food handlers on board the aircraft.

    Obviously if someone is travelling on their OWN and unwell we would provide more assistance than someone travelling with friends or family (ie that has a ‘vomit disposer’!).

    If a customer is travelling on their own and ill obviously we have not only a duty of care but also a natural desire to assist. As LP mentioned regarding his LH experience my first action would be to offer some water and hot towels. In terms of the handing over of the sick bag – there is a procedure for this. We don gloves and collect a yellow biohazard bag that are carried on board. Take the biohazard bag to the customer and ask them to dispose of the vomit bag into that. Then we dispose of the yellow biohazard bag in the toilet bin.

    This is the ‘standard operating procedure’ however there are always exceptions. On shorthaul if it was to happen close to landing the crew could be very time pressed in getting the cabin ready for landing. If there was quite a bit of turbulence there could be multiple people vomiting.

    **Personal opinions only**

    6 users thanked author for this post.
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