An airline passenger received a refund for her flight after she was forced to endure hours of airtime next to a corpse.
- (Photo: http://www.maf.org)
Kenya Airlines, which promotes itself as the "Pride of Africa," was put to shame when one customer complained about her seating arrangements. It's not that Lena Pettersson was a difficult customer attempting to swap seats for a better view: the Swedish woman was forced to spend a 10-hour flight seated next to a passenger who had passed away right before her very eyes.
Pettersson reported that it was apparent that the 30-year-old man sitting next to her was extremely ill. The woman, who is also a reporter for Radio Sweden, said the man was visibly sick.
"He was sweating and had seizures," Pettersson told Radio Sweden. "Air hostesses were there all along, but the plane took off anyway."
Within the first few hours of the flight, the unnamed man had passed away. Members of the crew and passengers alike attempted to revive the man, but with no success, returned to their posts. After the man's death, Pettersson requested a change of seat, but was told that no other seats were available.
Hours later the plane landed and an upset Pettersson complained about the incident, for which the airline decided to reimburse half of her fare.
"This feels much better," Pettersson reportedly told Radio Sweden. "It is reasonable."
Some, however, still questioned how reasonable the situation had been and how appropriately the airline had dealt with it. One blogger, Christopher Elliot, reported that a number of passengers opt to continue on flights despite being very ill due to harsh refund policies that make it impossible to receive a refund or delayed flight.
In addition, Elliot stated that it was the responsibility of the airline to note a sick passenger and suggest the passenger opt for a different flight.
Kenya Airlines has not fared well among its customers for some time, however. According to Skytrax, which considers itself the "world's largest airline review site," Kenya Airlines only scored 3.5 out of 10 from out of over 200 reviewers.
"Very disappointing indeed!" S Said wrote on the site. "As a Kenyan, I wanted to believe that Kenya Airways is indeed the 'pride of Africa'. Perhaps it was at a time. Recently it is starting to be an 'embarrassment of Africa'. Service has deteriorated to poor levels."