Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Repost For No Particular Reason: I’m Dying To Fly With You

Every now and then, I come across ‘real’ news that makes me jealous that I could not have thought up something so unimaginable. I guess that’s why they call it unimaginable though. Reuters posted a story this morning of a man who woke up in a first class airline seat next to a corpse. Apparently, a woman in economy passed away after take-off and they could not keep her body from shifting and falling out of her chair because of turbulence. The recently deceased and her distraught daughter were upgraded for the remainder of the flight, which of course is the absolute least that the airline could have done for the lady and the body of her mother. Reports that British Airways is considering changing its name to R.I.P. Airlines are inaccurate. This all brings new meaning to the term departure, doesn’t it? I know this is a story I should leave alone, but I can’t. Hey, I’ll be dead one day too and I invite people to make as many jokes at my expense as they want.

One can only imagine the sight of a corpse slipping out of its chair onto the floor repeatedly during this flight. That reminds me, the long awaited sequel to ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ called ‘Bernie’s Final Flight’ should be released this summer. One passenger was quoted as saying that the body had to be propped up with pillows to keep it from moving. This incident does make me wonder why the flight from Delhi to London was not turned back around so that the body could be dealt with and treated with the proper respect that the deceased deserved.

I’ll admit that if it had been me waking up next to the departed, things might have gone a little differently. I try to be congenial wherever I am (although I can also be extremely dense) and am sure I would wake up, discover someone seated next to me and try to strike up a conversation with them. I’d probably start by making Delhi/Deli jokes like, “you know, I imagined that Delhi would have a much better collection of cold cuts than they did.” Since that’s not really funny, I would try another approach like, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in economy class.” Then realizing that I got no response, I would pay a little more attention to my row mate and notice that she appeared lifeless. In light of now realizing that she was deceased and I had just made a dead joke, I would begin trembling and do a spit take, thus sending my diet soda spraying across the back of my seat as well as the graying and balding head of the CEO in front of me. The CEO would turn around enraged and I would whisper in a very high pitch while pointing at the dead woman, “she’s dead. I’m sitting next to a corpse.” The CEO would scream, I would scream and then the flight attendants would hustle down the aisle to see what the commotion was about.

When the flight attendants arrive, they would apologize with something lame like, “sorry sir, she passed away last night and we didn’t want to wake you. Here are a few complimentary drink tickets.” While completely insufficient given the circumstance, I would accept the coupons since I don’t like confrontation and then ask, “Well, since she isn’t going to be hungry, may I have her meal, too?”

Given a choice, I would rather pass away on a boat instead of a flight. If I died at sea, they might just dump my body overboard during a tasteful sea burial. If some obscure maritime law prohibited the dumping of bodies in international waters, then I’m sure I could be shoved into the boiler room or propped next to the shuffleboard sticks. No matter how you look at it though, the situation would be awkward for everyone involved.

Can you imagine the decisions that the captain and attendant crew had to make? You have to figure that they would be criticized for whatever decision they made. If they turned the flight around, they would be blamed for causing delays at the airport. However, by flying on to their destination they created a very creepy situation and probably violated some health code that deals with transporting corpses on international commercial flights. If they had announced to the passengers what happened when the death was discovered it would freak everyone out and if they dragged the body up to first class, it would be disrespectful to the deceased as well as the passengers. If the crew had decided to quietly move the body to the front of the plane while the majority of passengers slept, they could be accused of being deceitful. It’s a no-win situation. I just hope they refunded the ticket price for the deceased’s daughter, the deceased and anyone else inconvenienced by the event.

While it may cause a black eye publicly for British Airways, at least they got a new marketing slogan out of the unfortunate situation. “British Airways – our service is heart stopping.”


Just telling it like it is said...

I strangly found this funny..hilarious in fact..
You know what they say laughter is the best medicine....Yikes did I just say that story cracked me up...seeing how it must be DOA dead on arrival week or something...What can I say I am an ER nurse...your not going to believe what happened to me today at work today.. ahhh such is life...NOTATION*****:"I only mean to honor the dead..." it's mearly a coping mechanism to deal with the people that do not make it in the ER or pass away from any cause..
How ever I did hear a story the other day a co-worker told me that a pt's paid a cab driver to drive a dead person to the ER...I guess he got paid so he figured why not he did not notice he was blue...his mind was on the road!!
darn girl

Just telling it like it is said...

Sorry that is a bit a little hard to read due to my dyslexia acting up...thanks for standing by my little old blog!! your a champ...but I am not sure you should be drinking diet cola..sorry nurse in me!!

Selma said...

It could have been worse. The corpse could have been the pilot or someone who'd just eaten the airline food. Either way, I'm sure this story will spawn a number of related airline disaster movies such as :'Come Die With Me' or 'Zombie Flight Attendants Take Manhattan.' Could rejuvenate the Hollywood movie industry!

Lis said...

British Airways – our service is heart stopping


Patti said...

Now that's what I call fear of flying.
Scared to death.

Open Grove Claudia said...

Ok, I couldn't get passed the "woke up next to a corpse". Ew.... I mean, Ew....

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Gee thanks, I'm suppose to fly to CO in April...I don't like flying to begin with and now I have to worry about someone dying next to me.

FRIGGA said...

Man, the money those people have to pay for that first class ticket, only to wake up next to that.

No, I would scream. I would be creeped out. I would (because I'd be rich, see first class) sue them for mental damages!

EEeeewwww Eeeewwww Eeeeeewww and yuck!

meleah rebeccah said...

If I wasn't afraid to fly already I sure am NOW.

CS said...

Okay, this one mad me laugh helplessly. And decided I need to go get some sleep.