Passengers question why United flight didn't land as woman suffered seizures

Woman filmed having seizures on United flight

ARLINGTON, Va. — Some passengers aboard a United Express flight are asking why a plane didn't immediately land once a passenger on board began suffering a series of seizures. The ordeal was captured on video by another passenger.

The cellphone video from on board the flight to Cincinnati shows a passenger coming to the aid of a woman having a seizure. The flight took off from Houston Sunday evening and the video appears to be shot as the plane was beginning its descent.

"She had two seizures quickly. We were not more than 10 minutes away from the airport. We could have gotten right back there. And I'm looking at the flight attendant and saying, 'Why are we not turning around?'" said Amy Hammond, who took the video.

United Airlines said flight attendants asked if there was a medical professional on board and several identified themselves. The crew used a service known as MedLink, connecting them with a doctor on the ground.

The airline said based on the judgment of all involved, including the woman, the decision was made to continue to Cincinnati instead of diverting to another airport. Medics met the plane after landing.

United has not been able to reach the woman since the flight. In a statement, Republic Airlines, which operated the flight, thanked the passengers who rendered aid, saying: "Had it been the judgment of the medical professionals that another course of action was indicated, we would have followed that recommendation immediately."

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said it appears the flight crew followed proper procedure, but did express concern about the woman in the video's privacy, as it's unclear if she was even aware she was being recorded during the incident.

  • Kris Van Cleave

    Kris Van Cleave is the transportation correspondent for CBS News.