Woman Says Airline Called Her A ‘Flight Risk,’ Kicked Her Off Plane

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A woman claims that she was the victim of “absolutely insane” treatment by an airline after they took one look at her, deemed her a “flight risk,” then refused to allow her to fly. Were they justified in kicking her off the plane? You decide.

Helen Taylor was deemed a “flight risk” and removed from a Jet2 flight. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Helen Taylor and her husband, David, were looking forward to traveling to Rome together for a mini getaway, but sadly, they would never make it there as planned. Instead, their trip turned into a nightmare while at the Newcastle International Airport in England when the Durham woman was deemed a “flight risk” and “unfit” to fly after a flight attendant with Jet2 took one look at her.

According to Helen, who has type 2 diabetes and was also suffering through menopausal symptoms at the time, she boarded the flight without any problems, but then desperately needed to go to the bathroom. She was told it was “no problem,” so she went, the New York Post reported. However, when the 56-year-old woman returned from the toilet, a flight attendant had taken notice that something about Helen appeared a little off.

When Helen Taylor returned from the toilet, a stewardess expressed concern about her apparent condition. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Helen Taylor was admittedly sweaty and feeling a little dizzy. “The air stewardess saw and asked, ‘Are you alright?'” Helen recalled. “I said, ‘I am perfectly fine, I had just eaten after not eating all day and I have type 2 diabetes, so it is just my blood sugars releveling. All I need is to sit down and have a drink of water and I will be perfectly fine,'” she continued, adding that two minutes later, she was “right as rain.”

Unfortunately for Helen and her husband Dave, the cabin crew member wasn’t convinced. Although Helen told the flight attendant that she was going through menopause, which is known for causing hot flashes and making her sweat, the employee insisted that the passenger receive a medical examination. About 10 minutes later, Helen and her husband were told Helen could not fly because she was a “flight risk.”

Helen Taylor
Helen Taylor claims the airline called her “unfit” to fly for sweating. (AI-created image for visual representation only)

Having spent $3,500 on the trip, the news was a devastating blow made worse by the fact that the captain assessed her and thought Helen looked fit to fly but still approved of his crew guiding her off of the flight. Helen said she and her husband were then “frogmarched through the airport.” Then, before picking up their baggage and taking an Uber home, she claimed they were made to return their duty-free purchases and undergo questioning by border control officials on the way out.

According to Helen, who works as a health and social care teacher, the ordeal was “ridiculous” and how she was treated was “absolutely insane.” However, one can understand an airline trying to prevent a mid-air medical emergency. Helen, of course, felt otherwise, slamming the airline and saying the cabin crew should not have been able to make such a decision. “They were making a decision on unsubstantiated evidence because they were not doctors,” she said.

Helen Taylor said she and her husband were “frogmarched” through the Newcastle International Airport. (Photo Credit: Google Maps)

What’s more, one would think that, if Helen’s health and well-being were a concern, a certain level of care would be given while guiding the woman to “safety,” but that wasn’t the case, she said. “They didn’t provide any medical or mobility assistance getting off the plane, on the tarmac, or going through the airport,” Helen alleged. “Or any assistance with the bags. And, this is when they said I am unfit to fly.”

Although the airline initially seemed to defend its decision, it did eventually offer the Taylors a refund. “After liaising with independent medical aviation specialists, our crew took this decision as the health, wellbeing, and safety of our customers is always our first priority,” a Jet2 spokesperson said, according to Chronicle Live. “However, after investigating further as a matter of absolute priority, we have been in touch with Ms. Taylor to apologize and to refund her holiday as a gesture of goodwill.”

Helen Taylor
Helen Taylor and her husband Dave (Photo Credit: Provided)

It’s easy to understand why Helen Taylor was upset by the ordeal. However, it’s also just as easy to understand why an airline would want to make every attempt to prevent a medical emergency from occurring when they are roughly 35,000 feet in the air with limited medical equipment and resources. That doesn’t sound like it leaves a potential patient with very good odds. In this case, they got it wrong, but isn’t hindsight always 20/20? So, what do you do when you don’t have a crystal ball?

Is it better to err on the side of caution in cases like this or should it be a fly at your own risk scenario? While the latter might sound like a reasonable solution for all involved, the truth is that, if an in-flight medical event occurs, the captain is then forced to make even more difficult and sometimes even impossible decisions about emergency landings that affect every passenger rather than just one or two. And, make no mistake, it’s not easy to divert an aircraft or land a plane in an expedited and unplanned fashion.