Andrea, I thought the same thing, a friend of a friend is a flight attendant...You can not be pronouced dead on a plane, so the flight attendants or medical people on board will have to do CPR ntil the plane lands the the closet airport...
As stated in the article..."The Athens-to-New York jetliner continued on to its destination for eight or nine more hours."
Believe me, it is just not physically possible for a limited number of people (those who are trained on a single jetliner) to perform CPR for that many hours.
In the case of cardiac arrests outside of a hospital the survival rate is < 5%. Trained medical personnel know in the case of CPR when "enough is enough". A doctor's pronouncement of death is a formality.
Each airline has policies in place for these situations, but as the article reported, they are not always willing to share the information.
For anyone who wondered, some cruise ships have actual morgues for holding of bodies.
Sorry, I've been in training the last couple days.
While our situation is a little different than a long distance international flight, my understanding is that most airlines will land if there is any reasonable opportunity to save the life of the passenger. Most domestic operations would fall into that category. Transatlantic and transpacific flights are obviously a different situation entirely. Our pilots can get the airplanes on the ground very quickly, quite often within a few minutes given our route structure and flight profiles. Some airlines will remove the body to another location, others will leave it in place. Obviously, they will attempt to move nearby passengers and cover the body in a respectful manner.
In this situation he was sitting towards the front of the plane and in one of the extra space seats you pay extra for. The other couple was several rows behind him in the normal seats. In aruba and at landing is when he noticed he was not sleeping and in distressed and cpr was performed. All of the passengers behind him was held on the plane for about 45 minutes as flight personal/passengers and then Aruban medics arrived to perform medical assistance. He was pronounced in Aruba. My friends who travel with him took care of all the expenses and arrangements to return this gentleman back to Massachusetts which was over 6k.
My neighbors brother passed away on a recent flight a few months ago flying from Florida. The landed the plane as scheduled and his sister was contacted as that is the name he had in his wallet as a contact "in case of emergency"