Are FAA Regulations to Blame for Man’s Suicide?

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Southwest Airlines is at the center of some negative media attention and very unfortunate circumstances after one Wisconsin woman claims she may have been able to save her husbands life, had airline staff not intervened.

Fox News reports that in April, the woman was flying from from New Orleans to her home of Milwaukee after a girls vacation when she received a text message from her husband just prior to takeoff. The message read “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself…”. The woman says she panicked and was in shock after reading the text message and “didn’t know what to do”, so all she was able to reply was “No” and tried to call her husband when an airline crew member intervened and asked her to turn off her phone. 

The steward slapped the phone down and said you need to go on airplane mode now,” claims the woman and said she was told it was “FAA Regulations”. The woman waited until airborne and tried to get help from another crew member who advised that nothing could be done. The woman says she spent the 2 hour flight sobbing in her seat, anxiously awaiting their arrival. After landing in Milwaukee she immediately called the police but when she arrived home she was already greeted by officers who regrettably informed her that her husband had taken his own life. 

Southwest has kept fairly tight lipped about the incident but did provide this statement to the local Milwaukee news station WTJM: “Our hearts go out to the Evers family during this difficult time. Our flight attendants are trained to notify the Captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers on-board. In this situation, the pilots were not notified.”

These words came as little comfort to the widow who believes more could have been done to save her husband’s life.

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