Delta Air Lines passenger dies of natural causes on flight from Mexican resort town Cabo to Seattle and plane is diverted to Sacramento
- Fire personnel at Sacramento International Airport pronounced the unidentified individual dead at the scene after responding around 7pm on Thursday
- There was no indication the person had any COVID-19 symptoms
- In December, a 69-year-old man on a United Airlines flight died of COVID-19
- International travelers must produce a negative COVID-19 test within three days of a flight into the United States
A Delta Air Lines flight was forced to divert to Sacramento on Thursday evening after a passenger died during the trip.
The flight was en route to Seattle after taking off from Cabo, Mexico when it was forced to land in Sacramento around 7pm.
The unidentified individual became unresponsive on the flight and was pronounced dead at the scene by airport fire personnel.
The Sacramento County coroner’s office told CBS Sacramento that the individual appeared to die from natural causes.
A Delta Air Lines flight was forced to divert for a medical emergency Thursday (stock image)
Sacramento International Airport was likely chosen as the landing spot due to where the flight was in its trip.
There is no indication the passenger had COVID-19 symptoms.
In December, a United Airlines flight was diverted to New Orleans after a man had an emergency on a flight and later died.
The New York Times reports the man’s wife told emergency personnel that the man had COVID-19 symptoms.
The flight attendants from the plane were forced to go into 14-day quarantines, while United Airlines worked with the CDC to contact passengers who may have been exposed.
The plane landed at Sacramento International Airport, where the passenger was pronounced dead from natural causes (stock image)
This is the flight path the plane was on when it was diverted to Sacramento
According to Newsweek, a coroner listed COVID-19 as a cause of death for the 69-year-old man.
International airline travelers who are at least two years old need to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of a flight before entering the United States.
Joe Biden’s administration is considering adding similar rules to airline travel for domestic flights, which Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian has pushed against.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian previously argued against a COVID-19 requirement for domestic flight travelers, though something similar is already in place for international flights
‘It will not keep domestic flyers safer,’ Bastian told CNN in February. ‘It would set us back another year in the recovery.’
Transmission of COVID-19 on planes is not high despite the tight space, as planes have air quality filters on par with hospitals.
Nevertheless, Delta will not book passengers in the middle seats of flights until at least April, the only United States airline maintaining that restriction from earlier in the pandemic.