A 66-year-old American Airlines flight attendant was discovered lifeless in her Philadelphia Airport Marriott hotel room during an overnight layover. The circumstances surrounding her death have raised many questions, and left her colleagues traumatized.
The veteran flight attendant, who had dedicated 25 years of service to American Airlines, had been on a domestic work trip, sharing the journey with the same crew for a couple of days. They arrived in Philadelphia for a brief overnight stay. However, when she failed to check out on time, the situation took a distressing turn.
Housekeeping staff made the grim discovery a whopping two days after her expected departure, prompting concerns about the delay in checking on her well-being. While investigators found no signs of forced entry or struggle in her room, they did uncover ‘numerous’ medication bottles. Additionally, a sock was found in the woman’s mouth, raising additional questions as to the circumstances of the death.
The entire crew, deeply affected by the tragic loss of their colleague, faced an agonizing dilemma. Despite concerns for her safety, they were required to board a flight without first ensuring her welfare. One crew member made two calls to the hotel to check on her but was unable to return to the hotel due to flight procedures and minimal crew availability.
A heartfelt social media post from a crew member as reported by Paddle Your Own Kanoo shed light on the harrowing experience: “First of all, I’m deeply sorry for the loss of our dear coworker! My heart goes out to the family and any loved ones. It is midnight, and I cannot sleep, and cannot stop thinking about it! At this moment, my heart is pounding, and I can’t express how I feel. I am just as shocked as everyone.”
The post also pleaded for understanding, stating, “Please, please do not blame the crew. We were on the crew, and we are more traumatized than you can imagine.”
While the circumstances are indeed tragic, the airline and hotel are facing scrutiny for the amount of time it took to check on the flight attendant’s welfare. Authorities are treating the incident as suspicious, and an autopsy is pending.
In an internal memo, American Airlines expressed its condolences and emphasized the importance of the well-being of its team members: “The well-being of our team members is our top priority, and we will ensure that all those affected by this tragic loss have the support they need.”
This incident sheds light on the challenging and often stressful conditions that flight crews can face during their duties. It highlights the need for better protocols and support for these dedicated professionals. It’s even more shocking that despite calls to the hotel from the woman’s colleagues, it took two days for someone to go and perform a wellness check. American definitely has a lot of room to do better in handling situations like these.