This Is Exactly What Happens If Someone Dies On A Plane

Have you ever wondered what happens when someone croaks mid-flight?

While it’s extremely rare that a passenger dies on a flight (in 2010, only 93 people died on planes in America), it’s still a possibility.

So let’s say someone becomes very sick mid-flight. The first thing cabin crew will do is figure out if there are any medical professionals among the passengers. They’ll also inform the pilots, who will usually attempt to diver the flight to a nearby airport where the passenger can receive medical attention.

However, sometimes the passenger just can’t be saved or is discovered to have died quietly in their seat. In these cases, it’s up to the crew to decide what to do with the body.

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Surprisingly, most airlines don’t actually have an official policy on where to put corpses. The one place you’re explicitly not allowed to stash a body is the plane lavatory, but other than that, it’s really up to the crew.

What has happened most frequently in the past is that the deceased person is simply left in their seat and covered with a blanket. Yes, that means that any passengers seated in the same row must spend the remainder of the flight next to a dead body.

In cases where the flight isn’t full and the dead passenger is relatively light, the crew might arrange for the body to be placed in an empty row or moved up to a large, potentially more private business class seat.

But what if the flight is totally full and it’s not possible to keep the body in its seat? The decision might be made to lay it out on the floor, as out of the way as possible.

Technically, it’s impossible for anyone to officially die on a plane. Air crew aren’t allowed to legally pronounce someone dead, nor are any medical professionals that may happen to be on board. You’re not legally dead until the plane touches down and someone can officially declare the death.

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