Old Mar 31, 2009, 6:28 PM
rehodnett rehodnett is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3
Default easyJet - my broken arm

I am contacting you regarding easyjet and the way they treated me whilst travelling with them recently. I have had not much luck in getting a decent response from them - having sent 4-5 letters and emails to their customer services department, and all senior members of management. I have had replies to my emails but they always seem to skip past the crucial points - and ultimately in effect unfairly lay the blame on me.

In short - I broke my arm on a snowboarding holiday, and when I came to check in at Lyon airport I was forced to remove my cast completely (with a stanley knife borrowed from a newsagent) whilst the check-in members of staff were very rude, obnoxious and seemed to find the whole situation very funny. These staff members broke easyJet's regulations which state “Passengers travelling with a plaster cast that has been fitted for less than 48 hours then the cast needs to be split (the split need to run along the entire length of the cast) If the plaster cast been fitted for more than 48 hours there is no requirement for the cast to be split.” (http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Book/regulations.html) Unfortunately for me my medical certificate did not show the time my cast was fitted – just the date. My cast had been on for over 52 hours, and even though I asked if the supervisor could make a simple phone call to the hospital (using my phone) to clarify this, she refused and told me that the only way I could board my flight was by entirely removing my cast. I was left with a broken, unsupported limb - no medical help was offered nor available when I asked for help.

Making me cut my cast off breaks their regulations completely – and their duty of care towards me as a passenger. These regulations are there to protect passengers – but this member of staff’s incompetence could have rendered my arm paralysed. If this appalling attitude continues then I feel that another passenger may not be as fortunate as I was to escape serious injury.

I think that the general public need to know about these regulations - and the consequences of being so unfortunate to have a completely inept member of staff serve you at the check in - there must be hundreds of people a year who break limbs whilst skiing/snowboarding who aren't aware of these policies. I also think easyJet need to learn that if they had given me a little courtesy and respect in replying properly to my letters and emails and giving this matter some consideration I wouldn't be taking this matter public now.
Old Apr 1, 2009, 2:58 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,109

Wow.......all I can say is wow. I was about to say April Fool's but clicked on the link and read the quote the OP provided. What a joke that an airline requires a person with a broken arm arm to not have proper medical treatment to fly. An airline making a passenger who has had treatment, reverse that treatment is appalling, really. How would one know you need a medical certificate to travel with a broken arm? This has to be changed and I'm surprised there hasn't been more reports like this.
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
Old Apr 1, 2009, 8:14 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,366

I found this hard to believe as well but Googled the subject. Turns out that the airline has a very good reason for this. After several medical studies it was determined that if the fracture is "fresh" and your limb is confined in a plaster cast the pressurization of the aircraft cabin can cause the limb to swell abnormally. Since the cast limits the amount of room in which this swelling can take place it can result in complications ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain and loss of circulation in which case the flight would have to be diverted and you could have pemanent injury or even loss of the limb.

The "split" they are referring to does not mean removal of the cast. The cast would still be on and the limb immobilized but the split in the cast would allow for swelling. When you reach your destination you could have cast re-applied.

The fact that your medical release papers only had the date and not the time had the airline erring on the side of caution. They were only acting in their best interst and yours.
Old Apr 1, 2009, 9:00 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,109

There we go........medical lesson for the day. Airline looking out for the best interest of a passenger too. An amazing day.
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
Old Apr 1, 2009, 9:10 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

This is correct, although the 48 hour rule is being a bit overcautious. We used to fit travel casts which are inflatable, which holds the arm long enough for travel and to be cast properly on return. However, the OP post was about the airline enforcing the rule when he was prepared to prove that he met the guidelines. The staff at the airport refused to call the hospital (at the OP's expense) to confirm this. This would have taken all of 3 minutes, but cutting off the cast would have taken considerably longer. It is this inflexibility that is the the basis of the complaint. The release of a recent cast is medically sound, or alternatively if the OP told the ER doctor he was intending to fly within 48 hours, a different travel cast can be applied.
Old Apr 1, 2009, 7:57 PM
rehodnett rehodnett is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3

Yes - I completey understand the reason for splitting the cast (an airline regulation) but when their staff break regulations and tell you that the only way to catch you flight home is to remove your cast completely this is a completely different matter..
If the airline staff had taken the 3 minutes to call the hospital ( I gave her my phone to use so she didnt need to go elsewhere to find a phone etc.) then this whole scenario would never have arisen - my cast had been on for over 54 hours so would not have caused any problems.

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