Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
11

Being Dead Probably The Only Thing To Make Air Travel Tolerable These Days

Is this the laziest choice of photo I could have made for this story? Yes, yes it is."She told me that he was elderly and frail and also very tired, so I would have to lift him out of the taxi and into the wheelchair. I immediately felt unsure about the situation but I did my best to help by carefully lifting the man from his seat. To my horror his face fell sideways against mine – it was ice cold. I knew straight away that the man was dead but they reassured me that he always sleeps like that. So I placed the body into the wheelchair and pushed the man to the back of the easyJet queue."
-Andrew Millea, a worker at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, reports the instructions given by the widow and stepdaughter of Curt Willi Jarant, who were arrested after they tried to sneak Jarant's dead body onto an easyJet flight to Berlin. No word yet on whether easyJet plans to institute corpse-handling fees, but that is one airline surcharge I could probably get behind.

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11 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Seated in an exit row.

S'long as you have to buy the morbidly obese ones a second seat, we're cool.

Matt (#26)

Sometimes laziest is best.

conklin (#364)

Jesus, now the TSA is going to have to screen our aliveness, with pulse-taking and holding a mirror in front of our mouth and noses. That's ANOTHER hour earlier we have to show up.

Flashman (#418)

E's not dead, e's resting.

jfruh (#713)

There's no explanation of why exactly they were doing this — of course they were insisting that they weren't, he was ill and wanted to go back to Germany to die, he died unexpectedly during the process, etc. Still, this bit:

Bodies being repatriated across international boundaries are required to have the necessary paperwork and be contained inside hermetically sealed, zinc-lined coffins in the cargo hold.

Implies that perhaps they just figured that, since he already had a ticket, this was just going to be a cheaper way to get him back to Germany?

A friend of mine was once on flight from San Diego to Philadelphia that had to make an emergency stop in Phoenix because the dude sitting next to her dropped dead when the plane took off. Apparently dude was terminally ill and really wanted to go back to Philly to die (and yet spend as little time as possible there while alive, I guess?) and was actually travelling with a nurse, but he mistimed his illness and didn't survive the stress of takeoff. I guess nanny-state government regulations say you can't just fly around with a corpse in the passenger cabin, so they had to land ASAP to offload him; I can't remember if he flew on in the luggage bin or made a different flight.

So, the moral is, if you really want to die somewhere other than where you're living (or dying), think about the hundreds of people you will inconvenience if you don't leave while you're still relatively spry.

kneetoe (#1,881)

They should re-think this: corpses don't need food or drink, luggage, leg room, etc., and if the plane crashes, no harm, no foul. I think they should ONLY accept dead people.

Bittersweet (#765)

As long as they're already pickled. Or else they'd have to charge the relatives an extra 'cabin disinfectant' fee.

hman (#53)

I think it's Singapore Airlines that has a 'body closet' or whatever it's called, in case they need to stow someone away who dies on board. Which wouldn't have been the case here, but ugh.

saythatscool (#101)

Think they put granny glasses on him at John Lennon airport?

Heh. Dead guys are funny.

Crantastical (#4,127)

The dead don't complain when you gouge them.

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