An Indian-origin Canadian woman, Shanu Pande, has levelled serious allegations of negligence against Air Canada, claiming that their actions or lack thereof played a role in the tragic death of her 83-year-old father during a long-haul flight from Delhi to Montreal.
This incident unfolded in September, when Pande and her father, Harish Pant, embarked on a journey from India to Canada.
My dad wz a retired SEbroadcasting house Delhi, a senior man & wz coming to spend some good days wid me! Sadly @aircanada devastated us. Killer airline. Apathetic&untrained staff! https://t.co/F5cOTFHtFt pic.twitter.com/U5LLaNoSyP— Shanu Pande (@ShanuPande) October 14, 2023
According to reports from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Pant's condition rapidly deteriorated.
In a desperate plea for immediate medical assistance, Pande turned to the cabin crew of Air Canada, imploring them to divert the flight and facilitate an emergency landing to get her father the urgently needed medical attention.
Despite her emotional distress and frantic appeals, the plane continued its course for an additional nine hours, passing over several locations, including Ireland, the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, and Eastern Canada, before finally landing in Montreal.
The journey from Delhi to Montreal typically spans close to 17 hours, and during that time, Pande recounts the heart-wrenching experience, saying,
Pande is haunted by the belief that her father's life might have been saved if Air Canada had recognised the severity of his symptoms and acted promptly.
@AirCanada didnt divertflight whn mydad gt heart attckFlew 9hrs aftr attck to lethim die in frnt of me Crew didnt knw touse Mercury BPmonitor thy hd,Grossnegligence killedmy dad @CTA_gc @HCI_Ottawa @staralliance @IATA @ndtv @aajtak @republic https://t.co/JoRlZoZzIr via @YouTube— Shanu Pande (@ShanuPande) October 10, 2023
She described her state during the flight as deeply distressing and emotional, saying,
Unpardonable,Horrific,Brutal! RacismORCommercial decision to let a senior Indian die???WakeUpIndia! ItsA shame! Wud Canada keep quiet if any IndianAirlines denied their Citizens right to live??@MEAIndia @VaniRao1 @DGCAIndiahttps://t.co/rCcaeJgnwQ pic.twitter.com/14LCebsXFo— Shanu Pande (@ShanuPande) November 6, 2023
Two months after the devastating incident, Pande's grief has transformed into anger and disbelief. She accused Air Canada of being negligent, stating,
In response to the allegations, Air Canada denied any responsibility for the passenger's death.
This tragic event has sparked major public attention and raised crucial questions about airlines' protocol and responsiveness in dealing with in-flight medical emergencies and has people worried over the prospects of similar potential critical situations regarding the duty of care and the decision-making process.