An Etihad Airlines refused to take off with a passenger on board after he asked flight attendants for heart disease medicine and complained of discomfort.
Li Qian, a travel agent from Chongqing, was on board the evening flight from Chengdu to Abu Dhabi, which was delayed for two hours because of the issue.
“In the front of the plane, there was a middle-aged man that said he was not feeling well, he was looking for flight attendants to get medicine,” said Li. At first, Li and the other passengers were not concerned about the situation. Li didn’t even know what kind of medicine the man was asking for. Later, he learned it was medicine for heart disease.
“The flight attendants suspected he was having a heart attack and asked him to leave the plane to be medically examined,” said Li. At this request, Li said that the passenger began to panic.
“We have medicine, we have medicine,” the woman accompanying the male passenger quickly explained to the flight attendants. She said that they did not the flight attendants to provide any medicine, most likely out of fear of being kicked off the plane.
The man added that he actually felt fine. Despite the couple’s protests, the flight attendants still suspected that he was suffering from a heart attack or from complications from heart disease.
The passengers and several flight attendants were deadlocked in the cabin for nearly an hour. The man said that he felt fine, but the airline refused to risk it and take off.
Finally, airport police arrived on the scene. A doctor was brought onto the plane, after the passenger still refused to get off. The doctor examined the man and deemed him unfit to fly. The passenger finally got off the plane and the plane took off, two hours late.