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"We Have An Emergency"--problem on recent flight

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  • "We Have An Emergency"--problem on recent flight

    On Saturday, I was flying on Southwest for a 3.5 hour flight. I am working on controlling my fear, thanks to your help, and can generally tolerate a flight.

    In the middle of the flight, however, the flight attendant suddenly got up to make an announcement. She said, "We have an emergency."

    Those words sent me into a panic. They were the very words I have waited and dreaded hearing on a flight, and it was actually happening.

    Then she went on. "A little girl hit her head earlier and now is throwing up. Is there a doctor onboard?" So it wasn't an emergency about the plane. It was a medical emergency (the little girl turned out to be fine)

    Despite this positive turn, I was unable to contain my panic. I buried my face in my teenage daughter's shoulder. I am embarrassed to admit that. I needed HER to help ME. I didn't scream or anything, but I was spiraling down into panic. After a bit, I asked a flight attendant if the plane was OK. She said it was, that it was just that a child had vomited. A while later, I asked another flight attendant the same question and explained the announcement had frightened me (she didn't really care, and was understandably more concerned about the little girl).

    It took me about 30 minutes to feel OK again, and even now, when I remember those words, it scares me all over.

    Do you understand why I had such a strong reaction? Everybody else seemed OK, though my husband said that others were worried too (I think he was just trying to make me feel better). I had been making such good progress, and I feel this was a major setback. I am worried I will never be able to fly again, and my daughter will probably be going to college across the country, so I dont want that to happen.

  • #2
    Thank you, Captain Tom. That makes great sense. However, do you think it was good form for the stewardess to make an announcement using those words? I think perhaps even the calm flyers were a bit unnerved.


    • #3
      Agree - not the best choice of words by the crew!


      • #4
        Agreed probably not the best choice of initial words, but if it was immediately followed up with the details it did no harm to anyone other than fearful fliers. I don't expect airlines to be 100% perfect when it comes to possibly causing anxiety in fearful fliers. That is not their main focus, and, as fearful fliers, we need to understand that and learn to deal with situations that may arise.

        Hello: SOAR!


        • #5
          Hello: oneant


          • #6
            Don't worry dear. Just forget about this tragedy and move on. Everything will be alright.