“We want Ryainair to apologise,” disgruntled passenger Billie Appleton told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Appleton’s stepfather, 63-year-old Per-Erik Jonsson, fell ill during the flight back to Sweden from England on Sunday and at one point went into cardiac arrest,
According to Appleton, staff onboard were hopelessly ill-equipped to treat him.
“They said he had low blood pressure and gave him a sandwich and a soda. And they made sure he paid for it,” she told the newspaper.
The incident occurred about an hour into the flight to Sweden when Jonsson broke into a cold sweat and asked his wife for some water.
Suddenly his wife realised that Jonsson had lost consciousness and while she alerted staff, Appleton, a nurse, intervened.
“He didn’t respond when I tried to shake him. But after I slapped him in the chest, he began breathing again,” she said, adding that staff only reacted when she shouted for a doctor and that he needed oxygen.
Their diagnosis, according to Appleton, was that it was a blood pressure problem and that he should have something to eat.
She claimed that once the situation had stabilised, the only attention they got from the crew was when they asked for payment for the food and drink.
According to the EU regulations, all cabin crew should be fully trained in first-aid and the pilot should always alert air traffic control when a passenger falls seriously ill.
In a statement issued to The Local, Ryanair spokesperson Stephen McNamara defended the cabin crew’s handling of the situation, adding that they are all trained in accordance with EU requirements.
“In line with procedures for such cases a Ryanair cabin crew suggested a diversion to the nearest airport or to have an ambulance on stand-by on arrival at Skavsta, so that the passenger could receive medical treatment,” he said.
“However, the passenger’s companion, who identified herself as a nurse, declined this offer.”
But Jonsson’s family disputed the airline’s version of events and were surprised there was no ambulance waiting for them when they landed, forcing them to drive the critically ill 63-year-old to the hospital themselves.
Meanwhile the family is apparently considering legal action against the airline.
Ryanair last came under fire December 2010 when a passengers were forced to wait on the runway of a Gothenburg airport for five hours without food or drink.