Delta Changes Policy, Will No Longer Require Medical Credentials for In-Flight Emergencies
Delta Air Lines said that it would no longer require cabin crew to request or verify medical credentials when a passenger is in distress. A statement by the medical professional that he is a physician, physician assistance, nurse, paramedic, or emergency medical technician will suffice.
The move followed a highly publicized incident on board one of its flights during which a physician was not allowed to help an ill passenger because she was unable to provide her credentials.
Many practitioners do not carry their credentials with them and some states no longer issue wallet-sized credentials.
The physician, who is black, accused the airline of “blatant discrimination” but the airline said its crew was following the policy that was in place at the time, which was to ask for credentials. Another doctor on the flight provided such credentials and treated the passenger.
“When situations like the one described by Dr. Cross arise, we have a responsibility to our employees and our customers to review the circumstances and our policies for opportunities to listen, learn and improve,” said Allison Ausband, the airline’s senior vice president for in-flight service, in a statement released Monday.
Delta said it researched the matter and found that there was no legal or regulatory requirement for it to request medical credentials in such instances.
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