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article imageMan suffering cardiac arrest on plane offered sandwich

By Graeme McNaughton     Aug 4, 2011 in Health
Stockholm - A 63-year old man who suffered cardiac arrest on a Ryanair flight from London to Stockholm was offered a sandwich and soda by the plane's crew. The crew also insisted that the man pay for it.
Per-Erik Jonsson, returning home to Sweden, was flying along with his stepdaughter, Billie Appleton, and his wife. Appleton is also a nurse.
Jonsson first broke into a cold sweat, and asked his wife to get some water before falling unconscious. It was at this point when his stepdaughter took over.
"He didn't respond when I tried to shake him," said Appleton. "But after I slapped him in the chest, he began breathing again." Appleton also says the crew responded only when she asked for a doctor and oxygen.
"They said he had low blood pressure and gave him a sandwich and a soda. And they made sure he paid for it."
The Irish budget airline offers food and drinks for sale, rather than including them in the cost of the flight.
Stephen McNamara, a spokesperson for the airline, says the situation was handled within regulations put forth by the European Union.
"In line with procedures for such cases, a Ryanair cabin crew suggested a diversion to the nearest airport or to have an ambulance on standby on arrival at [Stockholm] so that the passenger could receive medical treatment," he said.
McNamara went on to say that the offer to divert the flight was turned down by Appleton. However, Appleton says there wasn't an ambulance waiting for her family upon their arrival in Stockholm, meaning they had to drive Jonsson to the airport themselves.
Ryanair has come under fire for less than stellar customer service in the past. In 2004, the British Court of Appeal, in a landmark decision, said the airline is required to provide a complementary wheelchair to disabled customers if they are in need of one. This came after Bob Ross, who has cerebral palsy and arthritis, and can't stand for extended periods of time, was charged £18 for use of a wheelchair by the airline in 2002.
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