March 25, 2014
Four people fainted on my flight from Munich to Boston last night. That’s not normal.
The person immediately across the aisle from me was #4. We were beginning our descent when I heard the sound of a coconut hitting the floor. He had tumbled out of his seat and was passed out cold in the aisle. I yelled, “Help! Help!” and before I could get unbuckled, he had been surrounded by a couple of other passengers, some flight attendants, and then by two passengers who the attendants apparently recognized as doctors. After about a minute, he came to and said he felt fine, but they made him continue to lie down, and held his legs up. They also took his blood pressure (which was apparently slightly high) and put a bag of ice on his wrist. After a few minutes, they returned him to his seat, and he said he felt fine. He chatted with the person next to him, and I checked in on him too; he made no mention of being diabetic or having any other condition that might have cause his fainting.
“He’s the fourth on this flight,” the attendant said to the person next to me.
Earlier I had been in the little prep area waiting for a bathroom when I took the opportunity to mention to an attendant that my TV monitor was barely working, and that they should write it up for someone to look at after we landed. She offered to look at it now, but I said that I was just suggesting that she write it up. My point is that I was being the opposite of demanding.
As we were talking, a call light went on, and another attendant told the one I was talking with that there was a medical emergency. My attendant said, “I can’t talk now. There’s an emergency.” “I said, of course! Go go!” She went to help, but a third attendant started acting as if I were insisting on continuing to talk about my stupid TV problem while a passenger was in medical distress. The more I tried to explain that I wasn’t even asking for anything be done during the flight, the more the third attendant insisted that I was trying to place my needs before those of the passenger who had just keeled. With just one more twist — say a passenger I had earlier offended overhearing the conversation and assuming I was being a self-centered a-hole — we would have had a pretty good episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Pretty, pretty good.