United Airlines Works With Health Officials Following Possible Coronavirus Plague Death After Passenger has Heart Attack Mid-flight and Dies in Hospital

Airlines face a big challenge in preventing potentially sick passengers from entering airports and boarding flights. PHOTO: JEFF CHIU/ASSOCIATED PRESS

United Airlines Holdings Inc. said it is providing information to health officials so they can reach passengers who might have been exposed to Covid-19 on a recent flight.

United Airlines flight 591 bound for Los Angeles from Orlando, Fla., was diverted to New Orleans on Monday for a medical emergency. A passenger was then transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

United on Friday couldn’t confirm whether the passenger had Covid-19, but said it had received more information indicating he did have symptoms of the disease when he traveled. The airline said it has been contacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority,” United said.

The CDC declined to say whether the passenger had Covid-19, citing privacy concerns, but said it is collecting information and following standard operating procedures to determine whether further action is needed.

Medical responders told United at the time that the passenger had suffered cardiac arrest. As a result, the airline didn’t swap out planes but offered other passengers the choice of continuing on or taking a later flight to Los Angeles, United said Friday.

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SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, Alison Sider