On Monday the 10th of October, Thomson flight 1714 from Newcastle to Larnaca was forced to make an emergency landing as one of the operating pilots collapsed.
After a mere 16 minutes into the flight, the pilot fainted in the cockpit. The cabin crew then hurried to get an oxygen tank into the cockpit in order to help the pilot out. As Sofia Airport in Bulgaria was the closest airport, the remaining pilot opted to divert the flight to this location. According to one passenger: “He was wheeled out of the cockpit and off the plane after our emergency landing before being placed on a stretcher and taken off to hospital”. What the exact circumstances behind this incident were remains unclear.
At times passengers might be entitled to compensation if a member of the airline crew falls ill. This is then considered an operational matter and the airline should have sufficient staff in order to proceed with their daily operations as usual.
However, since the journey already commenced and the flight was eventually diverted, these passengers aren’t entitled to compensation. Such an occasion is then considered to be an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and no compensation is due.