Can we travel sick? - The360 Travel

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  • Thursday, December 19, 2019

    Can we travel sick?

    Can we travel sick?

    Myths to debunk and questions that find answers in the world of travel and aviation.


    Yes, a sick passenger may be denied access to the aircraft, but it is not up to the carrier's employees to make the decision, explains Daniel Picanco, Director, Cabin Safety and Training at Air Transat.

    "When a passenger looks seriously ill, the ground crew will ask him questions about his condition. If there are any serious symptoms, including those that may warrant a visit to the hospital, staff will contact MedLink, a Texas-based medical service specializing in air medicine. It is Medlink's doctors who will decide whether or not the passenger can fly. They are the ones who make the diagnosis."

    According to him, Air Transat refuses about one passenger per month because of health problems, but the number can vary if there are epidemics in the regions visited.

    The airline has a duty, says Picanco, to ensure that the flight does not endanger the health of the passenger, but also that the health of all passengers on board is not compromised by an individual who would be contagious. "We have to make sure the plane is safe for everyone."

    Cough, fever...

    The symptoms of colds - cough, fever, runny nose... - can they be enough to be denied access? "Generally no, but it depends on the world situation. For example, during the SARS crisis, we had to ask more questions about the areas visited by the passenger to determine if there was a high risk of contagion."

    As a passenger, do we have the right to ask to change places if our seat neighbor has symptoms of illness? "You are totally entitled, but the answer will depend on the free seats, or not, on board the aircraft."

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