Flight attendants onboard a Lufthansa flight from Bangkok to Munich rushed to try to save the life of a passenger who suddenly started to cough up so much blood that the wall next to his seat was almost covered in it.
Eyewitnesses onboard Lufthansa flight LH773 told a Swiss newspaper that what unfolded was an “absolute horror” and that the victim must have lost “litres of blood” from both his mouth and nose.
Passengers say the victim, a German man, already looked sick when he boarded the Airbus A380 in Bangkok after running to the gate with his Filipina wife to catch the flight.
The man was reportedly so sick that his worried wife called for flight attendants to assist, and an off-duty doctor who happened to be on the flight even gave the man a quick checkup to make sure he was fit to fly.
Despite breathing heavily and showing signs of a cold sweat, the man was given the all-clear and allowed to fly. All he was given at this point was a little chamomile tea, according to witnesses, sat in the vicinity.
Shortly after takeoff, however, the man started to spit blood into a bag. Within moments, a few spits of blood turned into a ‘torrent’.
Flight attendants rushed to the man’s aid and immediately started CPR, but eyewitnesses claim it was clear the man was already dead. After 30 minutes, the flight attendants abandoned life-saving attempts and removed the man’s body to a galley.
The Captain then told shell-shocked passengers over the plane’s public address system that the man had died. The aircraft diverted back to Bangkok after just an hour and a half in the air, where local officials removed the victim’s body.
Some passengers on the flight, however, say little support was provided to the victim’s grief-stricken wife and that she was required to make her own way through immigration and customs without an escort.
Other passengers were given meal vouchers, and many were rebooked on alternative flights, although some complained about the amount of time it took ground staff to process them.
In a detailed statement, a spokesperson for Lufthansa said: “We confirm that on 8 February 2024, on flight LH773 (Airbus A380) from Bangkok to Munich, a medical emergency of a passenger occurred on board.”
“Although immediate and comprehensive first aid measures were taken by the crew and a doctor on board, the passenger died during the flight. After 1.5 hours of flight time, the crew decided to return to Bangkok, where the aircraft landed normally and safely.”
“There, the instructions of the medical emergency services and the Thai authorities were followed. The passengers on this flight have since been rebooked on other alternative flights as it has been cancelled”
“Our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased passenger. We also regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers of this flight.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.