Medical Emergency Strands Frontier Airlines Passenger in Cancun

Local man claims airline left him at the curb.

Kevin Killeen
May 09, 2018 - 2:23 pm
Frontier Airlines jet

(Photo by Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT/Sipa USA)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The owner of the Casa Loma Ballroom in St. Louis was among a group of tourists stuck in Mexico an extra day after he says an elderly woman may have died on the plane he was about to board. 

Pat Brannon says they were preparing to board Frontier Airlines flight 87 in Cancun bound for St. Louis, when he noticed an ambulance by the plane that had just landed.

"She was an elderly woman, we saw her when she was on a big gurney, and they were wheeling her to the ambulance," Brannon said, "Looked like one of those oxygen masks on her face, but nobody was attending it. Her arms were down off the gurney. And when they got her close to being put on, I noticed one of the attendants took her hands and put them on her chest."

Brannon says the flight out was suddenly cancelled, and some 190 passengers were told they'd all be "taken care of."

But he says when they got outside the airport, the passengers aligned with tour groups got on buses to go to their free hotel rooms, and some twenty other passengers who were not with tour groups were left to fend for themselves.

"I feel bad for the family and all the people that were on that plane, too," Brannon said. "Then you've got a whole new plane full of people that the airline should be responsible for. And they absolutely took 20 of us and threw us out on the curb and said, 'See you tomorrow -- we'll fly you back.'"

Brannon spoke with KMOX by phone from the Cancun airport as he was preparing to catch a flight home Wednesday. He says he had found a hotel room downtown for the night.

Frontier Airlines spokesman Richard Oliver confirms there was "a medical emergency" on a plane that caused the flight cancellation. Oliver would not comment on whether the woman died in flight.

As for the hotel bills, Oliver says the passengers not with tour groups were required to find their own lodging for the extra night, a situation he described as "uncontrollable."

He explained that Frontier Airlines has an agreement with tour groups to help share the cost of unexpected hotel costs due to flight cancellations.

Brannon said he and the 20 stranded passengers had booked their flights on their own.

Oliver says that everyone delayed because of the incident was now being flown out of Cancun.