'Culture of kindness': U.S. traveller praises Canadian flight crew for medical response
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, April 19, 2017 8:31AM EDT
In the wake of a turbulent week for airlines and their passengers, one traveller decided to call attention to an “organized, caring, respectful and attentive” response by a Canadian flight crew following an on-board medical emergency.
Joel VanderHoek, a businessman from Lynden, Wash., published an open letter on Facebook praising WestJet staff for coming to the aid of a male passenger who lost consciousness aboard a flight from Calgary to Abbotsford, B.C. on Saturday.
Dear WestJet, Tonight on Flight 105 from Calgary to Abbotsford, something happened that should be shared with you....Posted by Joel VanderHoek on Saturday, April 15, 2017
“In an Easter week of particularly unpleasant news about airline treatment of customers, I commend you for a culture of kindness and care. It was evident before the medical incident, but was made especially clear tonight. Thank you,” he wrote in a post that has received over 84,000 reactions and 16,000 shares since Sunday.
VanderHoek said the man “appeared normal” earlier in the flight before he flopped out of his seat and spilled into the aisle. He said he hit the call button while another woman tried to help him off the floor. He went on to describe how the WestJet crew worked with a nurse who was onboard and a volunteer translator to help the man.
“The man awoke and was helped up into his seat. They kept the man's sister, who was travelling with him, comfortable and apprised of the situation as they asked her questions to help determine the cause of his passing out,” he wrote.
The cooperation between passengers and crew comes on the heels of an incident caught on video showing a man being forcefully removed from a United Airlines flight last week. Passenger David Dao suffered injuries at the hands of Chicago airport officers after he refused to leave when he was chosen for what the airline later called “re-accomodation.”
Air Canada also came under fire last week for bumping a 10-year-old boy from an oversold flight to Costa Rica.
While flight crews are trained and regularly confronted with medical emergencies, VanderHoek felt WestJet’s handling of this incident warranted a special commendation.
“It was beautiful to see strangers come together as humanity to help one another,” he wrote.