Cabin crew shares protocol for when someone dies on flight – and they move body

As passengers there's a lot that happens on a flight that we may not notice.

Like when someone falls ill, or even when a flyer tragically passes away during a flight.

Cabin crew are required to perform emergency medical care on a passenger when they get ill on the plane.

But with planes being cramped, it can be difficult to do this discreetly, so how do they go about it?

Journalists from The Sun tried performing CPR on a plane with British Airways and the tight conditions made it hard.

Meanwhile flight attendants for Ryanair will need to have specific skills to work in the air.

A spokesman said: "All Ryanair aircraft carry first aid equipment, in full compliance with EU safety regulations.

"All crew are trained in first aid procedures, including defibrillators, which are carried on board.

In severe circumstances, the pilot would have to divert the plane to the nearest suitable airport.

The spokesman added: "We'd request medical assistance to be on standby before landing."

While crew are medically trained, in some tragic cases even professional staff are unable to help.

So if the passenger dies, the body is moved to an empty row or business class away from others, then covered by a rug.

However this does differ depending on the airline.

Speaking to Business Insider, flight attendant Annette Long said she usually covers up the body with a blanket.

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She said: "I would probably put a blanket over the person so it would become less of something to look at.

"You want to maintain dignity and respect for someone who passed away.

"You don't want anyone staring at them. That would be really sad."

Over on Q&A website Quora, travellers have shared their own experiences of people dying in the air.

One said her husband died on a long-haul Air New Zealand flight between Los Angeles and Auckland.

She said: "We were in business class and he went to sleep in a lie-flat sleeper seat and did not wake up.

"When he would not wake up I got a flight steward who then went and fetched a passenger who was a doctor.

"He performed the usual signs of life tests and declared him deceased approximately four hours prior to landing."

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The woman told how he was covered with a blanket for the rest of the journey as she laid beside him in the sleeper seats.

But passengers can't be declared dead in the air, instead this happens after landing, according to the law.

Cabin crew staff also have a secret code for referring to passengers who have died.

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