By now, you've probably heard this story. A woman received a text from her husband while the plane was getting ready to take off that told her sorry, but he planned to kill himself. She apparently asked a flight attendant if she could call and was told no. The woman, when she landed, found out her husband had in fact passed away and now she is furious with the airlines for not helping her to prevent this.
I understand her anger, I really, really do. But I have to ask: what could have happened?
I have a few questions:
1. What did she really tell them. There is a difference between "I really have to call my husband right now" and saying "my husband has threatened to kill himself this is an emergency." What she said to the flight attendant makes a big difference in what response she should have expected.
2. She could have (and probably should have) called anyways. Especially if they weren't yet in the air. Maybe we would be reading about homeland arresting a woman while her husband died. Maybe that's what she was scared of. Which is a sad fact, but at least she would have been making the call. You either a) make the call, or b) get kicked off the plane, giving you ample opportunity to make the call.
3. It really seems like we are getting 10 percent of the story from a very emotional person. And I want to know what really happened. And to be frank, even if she had made the call, who's to say that would have done anything?
It's really sad to me that we have learned the idea that we must respect and obey the "authority" around us at all times. What's worse is we've ingrained the notion that someone in fancy clothes and working for a company is an authority. That's sickening. If someone's life is in danger, call for help.
I don't mean to lessen this woman's sorrow, however, I hope that we can learn something so as to help prevent it in the future. Speak up. Be clear. Ask for the help that is needed clearly, and take it into your own hands if no one else will help you.