A grieving Wisconsin woman is wondering whether her husband’s life could have been saved had flight steward allowed her to make an emergency phone call.
Karen Momsen-Evers’ Southwest Airlines flight was on the runway in New Orleans and about to take off when she received a haunting text message from her husband. It read: “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself…”
In an interview with WTMJ-4 News, she said she texted him back with a “no” reply, but flight stewards completing final cabin checks refused to let her make a call, even though the plane was still on the ground.
“The steward slapped the phone down and said you need to go on airplane mode now,” Momsen-Evers told the local news station.
When she explained the dire situation, the steward said there was nothing she could do due to FAA regulations.
Another steward was approached when the flight reached cruising altitude. She explained the situation to the crew member and “begged her” to make an emergency phone call, but the request was rebuffed.
“I just wanted someone to go and try to save him,” she said. Instead, she spent the two hour flight looking at the text and crying.
When the flight landed in Milwaukee, she was allowed to make a call to police. But it was too late.
Police officers met Momsen-Evers at her home, informing her that her husband had already killed himself.
The new widow wonders whether the outcome could have changed if crew members on the aircraft took serious action on the urgent situation.
Southwest Airlines issued the following statement over the incident:
“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.”