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Airline goes out of its way to save sight of a passenger
April 12, 2011 2:29 AM   Subscribe

Imagine this: you live in a fairly remote place and need emergency eye surgery to save your sight that very same day. you get onto a plane but mid-trip your flight gets cancelled because of a technical problem. flying with most airlines we know would mean you'd miss your surgery and be in a pretty tough spot. but not when you're flying SAS. instead of leaving you stranded with a voucher, the airline found a replacement aircraft at another airport, flew it over to the passenger and got her to her surgery on time (original article). there is a lot going wrong in the airline industry these days but in my book that's pretty awesome.
posted by krautland (76 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I should have given an example for the things that are going wrong. this happened yesterday, too.
posted by krautland at 2:37 AM on April 12, 2011


A Scandinavian Airlines Boeing 737-500, registration LN-BRX performing flight SK-4147 from Trondheim to Stavanger via Aalesund and Bergen (Norway) developed a technical problem after landing in Aalesund which prevented continuation of the flight scheduled to depart at 11:05L and to reach Bergen at 11:50L.

The airline was about to cancel the flight and rebook the passengers onto the next flight departing 17:25L when a passenger approached the ground staff telling that she was to undergo emergency eye surgery at Bergen which would save her sight. The surgery was scheduled to begin at 15:00L.


So wait...someone had eye surgery scheduled for a certain time, and they chose to book the absolute latest flight. What a fucking idiot.

Good on the all the people involved in making it happen...but couldn't this have been avoided if they just scheduled to show up a bit earlier? How many people's plans had to be changed so this idiot could make his or her scheduled appointment.

I'm sure the passenger claimed it was an "emergency"...but that shit doesn't get scheduled in advance. Its more of a "we start when they arrive".

Total idiot.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:44 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


It could be that they had an acute problem - like a detached retina - that had only just manifested itself.
posted by rongorongo at 2:47 AM on April 12, 2011 [28 favorites]


Det skjer fra tid til annen at vi er nødt til å gjøre slike prioriteringer på grunn av passasjerer som har spesielle behov. Vi ønsker jo å strekke oss så langt som mulig i slike tilfeller, sier Kjønås til TV 2.

The translation is charming.

It happens from time to time we have to make these priorities because of the passengers who have special needs. We want the stretching as far as possible in such cases, says Kjønås to TV 2

"We want the stretching as far as possible."
posted by three blind mice at 2:49 AM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flying blind. Well, almost blind.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:53 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It could be that they had an acute problem - like a detached retina - that had only just manifested itself.

COULD HAVE BEEN, but then you have about a day or so to get to a doctor. They basically moved the airport around to get her to her destination 6 hours ahead of the delay.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:53 AM on April 12, 2011


A human face on SAS's money hemorrhaging carcass.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:54 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


damn... hal_c_on

Remind me not to invite you to a party, or read The House at Pooh Corner to you, or let you pet my dog.. you could turn any one of those events into a hate filled cynic-fest.

Here, let me get you a cup of coffee.
posted by tomswift at 2:59 AM on April 12, 2011 [42 favorites]


So wait...someone had eye surgery scheduled for a certain time, and they chose to book the absolute latest flight. What a fucking idiot.

I don't think you are right. this could have been a detaching retina or something like it. you don't get a lot of time with these things. the key word being emergency, not elective.
posted by krautland at 3:05 AM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


COULD HAVE BEEN, but then you have about a day or so to get to a doctor. They basically moved the airport around to get her to her destination 6 hours ahead of the delay.

Thanks for your contribution, doctor.
posted by atrazine at 3:07 AM on April 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


I booked the same eye surgery on Expedia.com, and I got a complimentary beverage!
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:08 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


So wait...someone had eye surgery scheduled for a certain time, and they chose to book the absolute latest flight. What a fucking idiot.

OK, what part of "emergency" did you miss?
posted by Skeptic at 3:10 AM on April 12, 2011 [14 favorites]


I don't drink coffee. But you know what goes well with a cup of Earl Grey...

I think its great that this person got their eyesight back. But things don't add up here.

I don't think you are right. this could have been a detaching retina or something like it. you don't get a lot of time with these things. the key word being emergency, not elective.

As you will read from your first link, "emergency" was self-reported by the person missing the flight. As you will read from my first comment, it was "scheduled". How does a scheduled emergency surgery add up?

If it was a detached retina, 24 or so hours should do the trick. Why move the airport around to expedite it by 6 hours?

Thanks for your contribution, doctor.

Thats Dr. Anti-Marketing to you. And to you to, SAS.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:12 AM on April 12, 2011


Dude, you totally stuck it to The Man.
posted by Optamystic at 3:23 AM on April 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


hal_c_on, while I share your cynism regarding marketing, I wonder whether you have ever been to Norway. The place is BIG, scarcely populated and roads inconvenient. How does a scheduled emergency surgery add up? Easy: you get a serious eye problem in Aalesund (pop.: less than 50,000) and go to the local hospital where they see that they don't have the facilities and/or specialists to treat you, but reckon that you must be treated urgently. So they call the nearest large hospital in Bergen, population 260,000, where they get a operation room and an eye surgeon ready for the time when the next flight from Aalesund should be landing.

I suppose that an air ambulance would have been an option, though.
posted by Skeptic at 3:25 AM on April 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


It was nice of SAS to go and find her a flight, but I'm pretty certain your average airline doesn't have a spare plane just lying around waiting to take a passenger on a hospital appointment.

Instead of presumably buggering up other people's travel plans, why didn't they get hold of a local small plane company to shuttle the patient up there? Good publicity at the cost of farking everyone else's day up, I guess.

But you know what goes well with a cup of Earl Grey...
Milk and a rich tea biscuit. What? Leave me alone, I know I'm a heathen.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 3:28 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know if my day gets thrown off schedule and someone doesn't go blind in the process I am pissed.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:31 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Double pissed if I don't get to cynically point it out on the internets with absolutely no evidence other than my own cynical speculation. I love the future.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:32 AM on April 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


How many people's plans had to be changed so this idiot could make his or her scheduled appointment.

All the plans of the passengers booked on the original flight to sit around Aalesund airport fuming at a six-hour delay? Those had to be changed. The second link (the translation of the Swedish article) points out that all the delayed passengers caught the rescheduled flight, not just the woman needing surgery.

Thats Dr. Anti-Marketing to you. And to you to, SAS.

How does this briefest of news stories constitute marketing? The original story is 250 words long, and the other two links are just a translation and a paraphrase of the same. That's hardly going to town.
posted by rory at 3:39 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does Norway not have lifeflight/air ambulances?
posted by Houstonian at 3:53 AM on April 12, 2011


The truly most horrific thing about this, is that the surgery and possibly the flight were covered by a socialized healthcare system and they failed to adequately leverage the death panel in an effort to control costs. This is pretty cut and dry - being forced to see the specific provider in an HMO can have near disasterous results and put undue stress on the patient. This is exactly why Obamacare should not exist in the US since then he will once again hijack a plane with his terrorist brettheren and while claming he was bringing a cancer patient to the Mayo clinic.

Hamburger if that isn't obvious to any mefites or Echelon.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:06 AM on April 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't care if it's marketing and I don't care about the story because it's pretty much the usual "Company does something nice for person that isn't me". I am only commenting to say how happy pictures of 737s make me.
posted by doublehappy at 4:07 AM on April 12, 2011


Behind the cynicism there is logic and research.

Please do some of the following:
1.check out the wikipedia entry for "Norwegian Air Ambulance"
2. Check out what airport this passenger was stranded in.
3. Check out what airports have fixed wing ambulances.
4. Check out what airports have helis
5. Check out how far Oslo is from Aleslund.
6. Check out what a 737-500 is.

Now tell me why SAS felt it had to get a 737 to fly out to Aleslund from Oslo to fly a passenger to Bergen, when that SAME airport had both fixed wing and helis which fly at a 15 minute notice.

haterz.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:10 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am only commenting to say how happy pictures of 737s make me.
posted by doublehappy at 11:07 on April 12 [+] [!]


Since I'm assuming that both planes were 737s, I think we have the definition of eponysterical.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:13 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, there sure is a lot of hate in the room tonight. You people remind me of Waldorf and Statler (the two old grumpy muppets).
posted by greenhornet at 4:17 AM on April 12, 2011


*Statler and Waldorf.
posted by doublehappy at 4:25 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am only commenting to say how happy pictures of 737s make me.
posted by doublehappy at 4:07 AM on April 12 [+] [!]


Check out this HOT action!

Oh wow. Its the same plane less than a month before they used on this mission of mercy!

I love SAS!
posted by hal_c_on at 4:28 AM on April 12, 2011


hal_c_on: there is an interesting comment on the avherald below the original article I linked:

This is the 2nd medical emergency assistance by SAS this month. On Saturday April 2nd, a SAS flight from Tromso to Oslo had to land in Bodo due to a medical emergency. That passenger recovered just fine. While on the ground in Bodo, an air ambulance was about to leave for Oslo with a person who was about to receive a transplant (kidney). The SAS capt checked the weather and noted that OSL had dense fog and that the Beech 200 probably would not be able to land there. So, the SAS cpt took direct radio contact with the Air Ambulance and offered to take the passenger to Oslo with his autoland approved aircraft. This caused extra delay but they made it to Oslo in time. Adding to this story is that King Harald of Norway was on board this SAS flight. This story received a lot of press here in Norway last week.

a heli in CAT II or III conditions? perhaps you had a few too many bitchflakes this morning.
posted by krautland at 4:51 AM on April 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


hal_c_on, why do you mention Oslo?

I just sent this story to a close friend of mine who's a physician in rural Norway, and his response was "that's how we roll in Norway :)". He most definitely did not share your skepticism that the airline overreacted.
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 4:57 AM on April 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


hal_c_on, why do you mention Oslo?

Read the first link. Actually:
The airline confirmed, that they dispatched a replacement Boeing 737-500, registration LN-BUG, from Oslo to Aalesund landing in Aalesund at 13:40L, which continued flight SK-4147 departing at 13:59L and reaching Bergen at 14:36L just in time for the passenger to reach the hospital in time for her surgery.

a heli in CAT II or III conditions? perhaps you had a few too many bitchflakes this morning.

What a horrible FPP this is when you are resorting to calling me a bitch because you drank SAS's marketing kool-aid.

You also didn't do the 6 things I asked you to. So let me spell it out for you.

This person was at Aaleslund airport.

Aaleslund airport has Norwegian Air Ambulance helicopters that can depart within 15 minutes of being given notice. That is their hardcore job.

Aaleslund airport also has a squadron of 12 Norwegian Air Ambulance Beech King Air B200 ambulance planes.

Again, tell me why neither of those 2 services by the NORWEGIAN AIR AMBULANCE were not used, and why a plane was commissioned to fly from Oslo to Aaleeslund to Bergen.

Also, where are you getting these CatII, CatIII conditions that would make a helicopter unable to be used from? I pretty much assume that if a helicopter is stationed at a base, it can fly out of that base. And lets just say that the helis couldn't fly for some reason. Why could they not have walked over to one of the 12 B200 planes whose purpose it is to fly out patients to Bergen (where there is ANOTHER airport with MORE Norwegian Air Ambulances)? Why did they make this dude wait 3 hours for the plane to arrive from Oslo?

Seems like SAS actually hindered this person's chances of getting their eyesight back at the chance to get some good and free advertising!

Also, why are you so defensive after finding out that this Disney fairytale doesn't hold up to scrutiny...and I only used google and wikipedia!
posted by hal_c_on at 5:30 AM on April 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


*pokes head in*

*tiptoes slowly back out into finland*
posted by infini at 5:38 AM on April 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


What a horrible FPP this is

It's not the FPP that is horrible as much as it is your commenting behavior (frequent, pointedly contrarian, obnoxious).
posted by ericost at 5:40 AM on April 12, 2011 [15 favorites]


because you drank SAS's marketing kool-aid.
I did not. but see if you can find a press release from SAS. you're just way too cynical.

You also didn't do the 6 things I asked you to.
how dare I, right.

Also, where are you getting these CatII, CatIII conditions that would make a helicopter unable to be used from?
again: the commenter mentions that on a previous day the same beech 200 was unable to perform such a flight because it isn't certified to land in those conditions. who knows about the helis. sea kings are most often used for search and rescue missions, not transport.

Why did they make this dude
seems like this dude was a lady.

Also, why are you so defensive
I am not. you are just overly cynical.
posted by krautland at 5:40 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm never serving you Folgers Coffee again, hal_c_on. It makes you testy.
posted by ardgedee at 5:41 AM on April 12, 2011


Having lived in Norway for over 5 years, it's believable that they rerouted planes to make it happen for the patient. It's not believable that they did it because some whizzkid in SAS marketing (Snarketing?) spotted an opportunity. As Dr. E's friend said, that's just how things are in Norway.

Norwegians are pretty laid back about these kinds of delays, so you wouldn't have a near riot like you do elsewhere. We once got bumped because of landslides in Bergen and moved to the Stavanger flight from Aberdeen and everyone queued up patiently instead of stampeding the check-in desk.
posted by arcticseal at 5:42 AM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aaleslund airport also has a squadron of 12 Norwegian Air Ambulance Beech King Air B200 ambulance planes.

I think you're misreading, and that this is the total number they operate for the whole country. Given that Ålesund is a rather small airport, I doubt they have more than one, which possibly needs to be reserved for even more serious cases (life-and-death).
posted by Dumsnill at 5:43 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Quite frankly SAS is not good enough at marketing to pull this off as a stunt, they have good technical capabilities, but it is not a well run airline.
posted by atrazine at 5:44 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


krautland,

The facts are all there. If you want the basis of your FPP to rest on anonymous commenter so be it.

hal_c_on, out.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:46 AM on April 12, 2011


hal_c_on As others have pointed out, your own Wikipedia link shows that the Norwegian Air Ambulance has 12 planes for the whole of Norway. Considering that Aalesund is their smallest station, there may very well not have been a single air ambulance plane there at the time. The same goes for choppers: Norway is oil platform country, and helos are kept quite busy there. Everything also depends of the weather conditions in Aalesund and Bergen at the time. 737s are certified to land with weather conditions that would not be acceptable for the air ambulance's planes and choppers.

Finally, rerouting an airliner (and picking up the rest of the stranded passengers as well) may have been less costly than having an air ambulance plane (never mind chopper) fly from Aalesund to Bergen and back, with a single passenger.
posted by Skeptic at 5:55 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


What a horrible FPP this is when you are resorting to calling me a bitch because you drank SAS's marketing kool-aid.

You also didn't do the 6 things I asked you to. So let me spell it out for you.


Dude, seriously, what the hell? Why was your first reaction so completely "What a stupid person GRAR!" Why all the angst and grar and sneering at a pretty small thing like this? Why is it so important to you that we know you think we're suckers for believing the story or thinking the airlines did a nice thing?

I was on a flight from Seattle on Sunday and about 30 minutes into the flight the purser asked if there was an MD, RN, or EMT on the plane, and about six call bells went off almost immediately. The passenger in distress was apparently not dying, since we continued on to our destination, but the flight crew were great at reassuring other passengers that the guy would be fine, we probably would get to SFO early, even, etc.
posted by rtha at 6:07 AM on April 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


hal_c_on, you didn't even read the links closely enough to know that the woman in question was a woman and not a "he or she", so you're hardly in a position to berate others about their research. Also, you still don't seem to have acknowledged that the flight took all the delayed passengers to Bergen, not just this woman. Basically:

11am, flight cancelled. All passengers told to wait for next flight six hours later.

Woman presents compelling case of her need to get to Bergen before then.

Airline decides this tips the balance in favour of sending a new plane to Alesund to pick up all the passengers.

End result: two flights out of Alesund to Bergen, as originally planned, with all the 11am passengers experiencing less of a delay than first feared. Good for all of them, not just her.

Good grief, it's not a Disney fairytale, it's just standard day-to-day airline management. The fact that the woman made it in time to save her sight was a nice bonus, that's all, and the news reports are standard local-media human-interest-level stuff.
posted by rory at 6:11 AM on April 12, 2011 [24 favorites]


It could be that they had an acute problem - like a detached retina - that had only just manifested itself.
posted by rongorongo at 2:47 AM on April 12 [10 favorites +] [!]


There is nothing cute about a detached retina.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 6:20 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, that was certainly silly.
posted by warbaby at 6:49 AM on April 12, 2011


flying with most airlines we know would mean you'd miss your surgery and be in a pretty tough spot. but not when you're flying SAS.

Well, sure, with the SAS you parachute out of a plane at 30,000 feet, rappel down the side of a mountain, and blow up a few buildings on your way to the eye clinic.
posted by kmz at 6:57 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh my god you guys, this thread.
posted by eugenen at 7:03 AM on April 12, 2011 [36 favorites]


I was on an SAS flight from Amsterdam to Helsinki a couple of years ago when there was a call for a doctor on board. There was a man in the last row whom the staff thought was sleeping but he had actually died of a heart attack in mid air. The flight was diverted to Stockholm, the nearest airport to wherever we were in the air and all the formalities taken care. The passengers sat there silently all the while some groundstaffperson berated the crew loudly for not taking any emergency action (how were they to know he wasn't asleep?)
After that bit was over the passengers applauded the crew loudly and pointedly in support.
Whatever else may be the case but I do know for a fact that in this region every single life matters (all the vulnerable ones are included as they say here in winter).
posted by infini at 7:16 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


hal_c_on, dude... you invested way too much time on this.
posted by edgeways at 7:24 AM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I doubt it's going to set Metafilter land-speed record, but we've certainly gone from "light human-interest story" to "bucket of bile" right quick in this thread. I got here before my coffee too, but with modern instrumentation we can now discern the difference between a reason and an excuse.

Personally I think that if speaking a truth demands that I shit in a MeFi thread, maybe I should be honest enough with myself to admit that I am not really on a quest for truth at that point. So, I resolve not to try excusing my misbehaviour in the guise of truth-telling for the remainder of my participation in this community.
posted by mhoye at 7:31 AM on April 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


I doubt it's going to set Metafilter land-speed record, but we've certainly gone from "light human-interest story" to "bucket of bile" right quick in this thread.

I actually think the beanplating about emergency medical transportation is more interesting than the human interest story angle. There's not a whole lot to talk about otherwise. But yeah the GRAR in this thread is totally unnecessary.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:38 AM on April 12, 2011


The headline to the article below:

"The server crashed after Voe comeback"

Love Google Translate. So much.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:47 AM on April 12, 2011



link
posted by notreally at 7:54 AM on April 12, 2011


I had a detatched retina when I was 16. Let me tell you how that went:

I woke up one morning and was unable to see out of my right eye. I could see colours and lights, but everything was blurry and distored. My parents got me to emergency right away. After a few days of tests (they though it might be tumor on the nerve at first) the opthamologist finally say the fold in the retina. Like a collapsed blister, it had fallen back on the eye and was very hard to see. This was 25 years ago, before MRIs and all that fancy imaging that would make this a single day diagnosis now.

Anyway, as soon as he had made his diagnosis, I was put on a gurney and off to the OR. I was under in less than half an hour. With retinal detachments, they don't want to take the chance that the retina will tear further, especially the central cluster which is the main part of sight.

As it is, I've lost about half my periferal vision on my right side and a permanent near-sightedness because of the operation. But if they hadn't have acted immediately, I'd probably be blind in one eye. Speed is essential for a detatched retina. If that's what the passanger had, the story is entirely belivable to me.

Plus, by acting quicly, they didn't have time to convene the socialist Canadian death panel, so I dodged that bullet too.
posted by bonehead at 8:12 AM on April 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


hal_c_on never has a second cup at home....
posted by shakespeherian at 8:21 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I take back everything I've ever said about Scandinavia.
posted by facetious at 8:37 AM on April 12, 2011


I read Metafilter comment threads for the cynicism. It helps me think more critically and form opinions and arguments of my own.

It also helps me come up with snarky one-liners.
posted by majonesing at 8:45 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I take back everything I've ever said about Scandinavia.
posted by ob at 8:45 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a detached retina 22 years ago (in the UK).

It wasn't a normal one.

I began noticing a slight fisheye lens-effect in my left eye's visual field, and had a couple of close calls while commuting to/from work, so I went to see the local ophthalmic optician. Who looked at it, declared it was probably just a floater, and sent me on my way.

Over the next two weeks it worsened, until I woke up one morning and found the upper half of my left eye's visual field was just a white-out. So I went back to the optician, who repeated his diagnosis. This time I didn't take it as gospel: I went to see my GP, who whipped out the ophthalmoscope. Her comment was, "I don't see anything wrong, but what you're describing isn't right: go to your nearest hospital ophthalmology department and don't stop until you've been seen by a specialist".

So I went to the hospital that afternoon, waited for a couple of hours, finally got seen by an ophthalmic surgeon ... and his first words were, "have you eaten?"

Anyway, they didn't operate on me that day. It turns out that I had a particularly tricky detachment: my left retina was floating free, but held in position against the back of my eye by a ridge of scar tissue behind it. It was slowly dying, but the local hospital didn't have a sufficiently proficient specialist microsurgeon to do the job. Instead I was referred to a national level specialist eye hospital, where I spent four hours under general anaesthetic while a maestro stitched the back of my left eyeball together again.

To this day, anything I focus on directly with my left eye is warped (the fovea is uneven and has suffered some permanent neurological damage), and I have around 50% peripheral retinopathy in my right eye -- but between the two I can synthesize a reasonable visual field. But it took me about 18 months before my vision in my left eye stabilized, after the op. Another few days and, well, I'd be legally blind.
posted by cstross at 9:10 AM on April 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


hal_c_on, do you need a hug?
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:30 AM on April 12, 2011


*cough*

otherwise, cool story.
posted by victors at 10:04 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Air ambulances don't work nearly as well as you think they do. They can be lifesavers when all the pieces fit together, but they aren't some kind of magic bullet. We have literally no idea whether Norwegian Air Ambulance had any aircraft available nor whether any were actually located at Aaleslund at the time. We also don't know whether they had a crew in Aaleslund or whether that crew was legal to fly in terms of hours of service requirements or other restrictions. And we don't know what other emergencies they had to handle: air ambulances are for critical cases that require paramedics to supervise the patient. It sounds like this patient needed to get to surgery as soon as possible, but didn't need medical care in transport (the consequence of not getting your detached retina fixed is generally blindness, not flatlining or massive bleeding), so an air ambulance might not have been appropriate, especially if they don't have capacity to spare.

And of course, there's the weather. It looks like it was rainy in both Aaleslund and Bergen on Monday. I don't know what the clouds and winds were doing, but it's entirely possible that the weather was below the legal minimums or the safety standards of the air ambulance company. The Beech 200 isn't a bad aircraft by any means, but it's a smallish aircraft with more limitations than a Boeing 737. Equipping a plane with ILS capabilities is quite expensive, and so is training the crew and ensuring they keep up their instrument currency. Air ambulance helicopters can crash and kill everyone on-board trying to land at a major airport in bad weather. It's certainly not true that "that if a helicopter is stationed at a base, it can fly out of that base," as it may well be the case that the weather is too poor at the origin, destination, and/or en-route. Large commercial jets tend to have ILS capabilities and ILS-current crews that air ambulances don't necessarily have.

In short, we just don't know whether an air ambulance was a remotely practical option. What we do know is that SAS went out of their way to get the passenger where she needed to be when she needed to be there, and that's good news for everyone. Certainly, we have no evidence that the patient (who, I remind you, was experiencing a medical emergency) is a "fucking idiot" nor that this is a PR stunt. Do you think SAS marketing was really waiting around for a passenger needing emergency eye surgery to be stranded by a cancelled flight? If so, wouldn't they be promoting it a lot more? The bad attitude is pretty crazy given the number of things we don't know about the situation.
posted by zachlipton at 11:09 AM on April 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


hal_c_on - eponyantithetical
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:29 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, my family went on a package tour of Europe. We went to the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Somewhere along the way we flew on SAS and the stewardess gave me a die cast model of the plane we were flying and kid-sized captain's wings to pin on my lapel. Airline hijackings didn't cause us to freak out and take our shoes off at the airport or surrender our mouthwash - we ate our inflight meals with actual cutlery and called the girls stewardesses. And we carried onions on our belts and wrestled bears for entertainment. Yes, even us kids on vacation were thrown in cages with wild ocelots to earn our dinner. When the referee would bite the nose off of one of us we would suck it up! None of this detachable retina business for us, no sir. And I won my match by sticking that 4-year old in the eardrum with my captain's wings and bludgeoning her brother with my tin 737. I got to eat that day and I was happy.

So whenever I see SAS doing such a fine thing for one of their passengers it makes me smile.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:52 AM on April 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


hal_c_on, do you need a hug?

Nah. I just found out its ok to tell people they had too many bitchflakes on metafilter.

So yeah...I'm feeling good about the future!
posted by hal_c_on at 12:42 PM on April 12, 2011


Well, my heart WAS warmed, but I've certainly been set straight on that one.
posted by sonika at 12:43 PM on April 12, 2011


Nah. I just found out its ok to tell people they had too many bitchflakes on metafilter.

It would be even awesomer if you could just find out that it's totally cool to not dump your bowl of bitchflakes whenever and wherever! Wondering if a story is hinky or thin is okay, but coming in all weirdly belligerent is...weird, and tends to encourage WTF? responses from other people. Like here.
posted by rtha at 1:06 PM on April 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wondering if a story is hinky or thin is okay, but coming in all weirdly belligerent is...weird, and tends to encourage WTF? responses from other people.

Sheesh! No need to be reasonable about it!
posted by Zed at 1:34 PM on April 12, 2011


Are bitchflakes higher-calorie than regular flakes? I can't seem to find them in this Weight Watchers booklet. How many points do bitchflakes have?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:45 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


[also, yay for SAS -- it's wonderful when a company makes even a small effort to do the right thing, let alone a really amazing story like this one]
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:46 PM on April 12, 2011


Are bitchflakes higher-calorie than regular flakes? I can't seem to find them in this Weight Watchers booklet. How many points do bitchflakes have?

They are REALLY high calorie. I couldn't find any nutritional info...but you have a bowl, and people start giving that same look that they give the pudgy girl behind the counter at baskin robbins. She and I will eat what we please, thank you very much.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:06 PM on April 12, 2011


MetaFilter: helps me come up with snarky one-liners.
posted by loquacious at 2:17 PM on April 12, 2011


It would be even awesomer if you could just find out that it's totally cool to not dump your bowl of bitchflakes whenever and wherever! Wondering if a story is hinky or thin is okay, but coming in all weirdly belligerent is...weird, and tends to encourage WTF? responses from other people. Like here.

Thanks.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:29 PM on April 12, 2011


"The House on Pooh Corner"
(as read by hal_c_on)

THAT FUCKING IDIOT DONKEY!
posted by victors at 2:43 PM on April 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Update: Norwegian TV2 has interviewed the patient from Ålesund - original article, in Norwegian, with link to a video. Same news video also at TV2 Denmark.
posted by iviken at 3:51 PM on April 12, 2011


"The House on Pooh Corner"
(as read by hal_c_on)

THAT FUCKING IDIOT DONKEY!


Its not cool at all to make up stuff. Wait...is that a winnie the pooh story?

Don't even get me started on the motherfucking bear who can't take responsibility for his actions!
posted by hal_c_on at 3:58 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Update: Norwegian TV2 has interviewed the patient from Ålesund - original article, in Norwegian, with link to a video. Same news video also at TV2 Denmark.

well, my danish is pretty rusty but acute glaucoma I understand.
posted by krautland at 1:39 AM on April 13, 2011


Acute Glaucoma would account for it. Painful and can result in blindness if not treated very rapidly, but not enough to justify pulling an air ambulance off other jobs (AAs being best reserved for life-threatening emergencies).
posted by cstross at 9:20 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


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