Hostess reveals shocking rule when someone dies on flight

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

A flight attendant has left TikTok users shocked with a sobering revelation about how sudden death is dealt with on a plane.

User Sheena Marie is a US flight attendant who regularly regales her followers with little known facts about protocols and rules onboard aeroplanes, but it was her disclosure of her airline’s procedure dealing with death on board that truly left viewers rattled.

Flight attendant Sheena Marie death on board rule shocks TikTok
Flight attendant Sheena Marie regularly dishes on the inside workings of flights. Photo: Instagram/ sheena_marie_

In a video that has since been removed from her account, the 25-year-old explained that if someone dies in the air, often they are simply left in their seat until the plane lands.

“If someone is already incapacitated and they’re like laying in their seat and you know they’re dead and everyone around them is like ‘they’re dead’, we’re obviously going to check the pules and all that,” she explained in the video that went viral.

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“If they have a heart attack and die, and there is literally nothing we can do about it, and we can’t start CPR and stuff like that, we are just going to wait until we get to our final destination,” she continued. “We are going to keep that dead body where they are at.”

She said if there is extra room on board they may be able to relocate the body, but if not it seems passengers may just have a very chilling neighbour for the rest of the trip.

Sheena Marie death on board body rules tiktok
Sheena's TikTok left viewers flabbergasted. Photo: TikTok/ sheenie_weenie

“If there’s enough room on the plane like on of the back rows is open, we’ll move the body to the back row and we’ll try to lay them down and cover them with a blanket,” she said.

The harrowing admission had many gobsmacked, but those that could find words were adamant that they would not under any circumstances be sharing a row with a dead body.

“Just know I’m sitting on someone’s lap if there are no more seats,” one person wrote.

“If a person next to me on a plane dies and y’all try to leave them next to me I will literally jump out of the window,” was another drastic statement.

On Reddit thread in 2018 another flight attendant confirmed that at least when it comes to landing, the body needs to be upright, just like any other passenger.

“It's the landing that's the problem,” the anonymous crew member wrote. “Our crew rest beds are not certified for landing, neither are most of the places where you could technically have someone lie down. He needs to be maintained by a safety belt, for other passenger's safety.”

Airbus A380 seconds before landing in Heathrow airport from Abu Dhabi
The number of deaths on planes is very low. Photo: Getty Images

This worker did claim that the passenger wouldn’t just be left among the rest of the public, however, in news sure to come as a relief to any nervous flyers out there.

“So if you can, you free up a row in the rear of the aircraft,” they wrote. “If you have other seats available, great. If not, well, the person obviously had a seat on board. So we move people around until we have freed up a seat in the last row (so we can keep an eye on the body, with easy alley access) and we put him there.”

In even better news it seems onboard deaths are very uncommon, with a 2013 journal article from The New England Journal of Medicine finding only 0.3% of onboard emergencies ended in the death of the passenger.

The data, which evaluated emergencies between January, 2008, to November, 2010 found 11,920 cases of emergency, meaning the total death likely sits around 36 over two years.

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