On December 14, a man who demonstrated symptoms of the coronavirus and was reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus but allegedly lied on a pre-flight checklist died after being transported to a hospital after a United Airlines flight bound from Orlando, Florida to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in New Orleans.

“The family of the man confirmed to the airline that he had pre-existing conditions including high-blood pressure and upper respiratory issues, and he was feeling sick in the days leading up to his flight to LA,” BuzzFeed News reported. United Airlines acknowledged: “It is apparent the passenger wrongly acknowledged this requirement.”

United Airlines released a statement that read:

Our flight diverted to New Orleans due to a medical emergency and paramedics transported the passenger to a local hospital where the individual was pronounced deceased. We have been in touch with his family and have extended our sincerest condolences to them for their loss. At the time of the diversion, we were informed he had suffered a cardiac arrest, so passengers were given the option to take a later flight or continue on with their travel plans. Now that the CDC has contacted us directly, we are sharing requested information with the agency so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection.

The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have various policies and procedures in place such as mask mandates and requiring customers to complete a “Ready-to-Fly” checklist before the flight acknowledging they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days and do not have COVID-related symptoms.

The man’s wife reportedly was heard by other passengers acknowledging that her husband had been showing symptoms of COVID-19, including losing his sense of taste and smell, according to The Daily Mail. The Mail reported: “Once in the air, his condition deteriorated rapidly and the captain made the decision to perform an emergency landing in order for the man to receive medical attention. Just over an hour into the flight, the passenger who was sitting in seat 28D stopped breathing. The crew asked if there were any doctors onboard and a number of people got up to help.”

The Daily Mail also wrote: “While talking to EMTs in New Orleans, the man’s wife admitted that her husband had tested positive for coronavirus meaning he likely lied when checking in for the flight.”

One passenger stated that she saw the man board the plane, head down and breathing heavily, and that a nurse and EMT were working on him less than 20 minutes after the flight took off.

“Taylor Garland, a spokeswoman for the union that represents flight attendants at 17 airlines, including United, said that after the plane landed in Los Angeles, the crew of four flight attendants was ‘quarantined for 14 days per written guidelines,’” The New York Times reported.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *