Airline apologizes for putting corpse next to sleeping passenger
British Airways has issued an apology to a first class passenger on a flight from Delhi to London last week who woke up to find himself next to a dead body.
The cabin crew had usedan unoccupied seat in his row for the body of an elderly woman who had died in the crowded economy section about three hours after takeoff.
Paul Trinder, 54, told the Mirror and Sun tabloids that he woke at 30,000 feet to discover the flight crew strapping the body into the seat near him.
"I woke to see the cabin crew manoeuvring what looked like a sack of potatoes into the seat. Slowly, through the darkness, I realized it was a body," the businessman told the paper.
"The corpse was strapped into the seat, but because of turbulence it kept slipping down onto the floor … It was horrific. The body had to be wedged in place with lots of pillows."
He said the woman's daughter was also moved up to first class, grieving and weeping until the plane touched down five hours later.
According to the Guardian newspaper, this is not the first time British Airways has dealt with an in-flight death this way.
In November, an American passenger died halfway through a six-hour flight from London to Boston. His body was covered with a blanket in a reclining seat in first class, which was 20 per cent empty.
Other first class passengers in the Boeing 747 jumbo flight to London told the Guardian that there appeared to be no other system to deal with the tragedy, which happens an average of 10 times a year on BA flights.
Trinder, a BA gold card customer who estimates he flies 200,000 miles a year, said that in the future he will choose any airline but BA when given the opportunity.
The airline said the crew had been trying to minimize the disruption caused by the incident.