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Friday, July 17, 2015

Luckless Americans


Ailing US airline crew are out of luck. Without transportation, they must travel to a clinic, present their insurance card, and hope for the best.

Foreign airlines do better, sending a doctor to care for crew when they lay over. In Los Angeles that’s often me. Being young, crews suffer common ailments. Even better, company rules forbid work if they have a cold, a digestive upset, or a minor injury.

On my own, I handle these over the phone, but airlines demand a doctor on the spot to confirm the ailment and name a date when the employee may fly again. I enjoy those visits. These patients are never demanding; their priority is getting home. They hate being stuck in a hotel room. Airlines permit them to return as passengers, and I’m liberal about allowing them, so those visits usually end happily for both of us.    

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