Husband of woman who suffered 'life-threatening' mid-flight episode slams Qantas staff.

Sam Hooper and his wife were on board a flight from Auckland to Brisbane en route to Los Angeles, when roughly 45 minutes out from landing the American woman began feeling unwell.

“With panic in her eyes she went stiff as a board, became non-responsive, glassy-eyed and appeared unable to breathe,” Hooper wrote on Twitter. “You can understand that I was very scared to see this happen to her.

“At this point I didn’t know whether she had fainted, had a seizure or something worse.”

It was the beginning of what the political writer has described via a Twitter thread as a “stressful and potentially life-threatening situation” that unfolded on the May 23 Qantas flight; one which he claims was met with a “careless, ignorant and reckless” response from the QF120 cabin crew.

According to Hooper, after his wife lost consciousness, a doctor sitting across the aisle rendered assistance and she returned to a semi-conscious state during descent into Brisbane.

“The flight attendants then insisted that my wife, barely conscious, sit with her tray table up and her seat in the upright position for landing,” he tweeted. “I’m no medic, but that struck me as f*cking stupid. The doctor agreed. We protested to the flight attendants.”

Hooper claims his wife was eventually permitted to remain lying down, strapped in across three seats. But the ordeal didn’t end there.

“We landed in Brisbane, my wife about 25 per cent conscious,” he wrote. “And what did Qantas airlines do? Did they prioritise our disembarkation from the plane and call ahead for a paramedic? No, they did none of those basic things.”



Hooper said it was the kind and “competent” Qantas ground crew who ultimately called for an ambulance after the couple cleared immigration.

“We ended up at the Royal Brisbane Hospital where my wife received excellent care and was eventually discharged later the same day with a reasonably clear bill of health.

“We still don’t know what caused the episode,” Hooper wrote.

A spokesperson for Qantas told Mamamia that “cabin crew are trained to handle all types of situations onboard and the crew were also assisted by a doctor who was also flying on the aircraft.

“We can understand that it must have been very worrying for Mr Hooper and we are glad to hear that his wife has made a full recovery. As the couple were unable to travel to their next destination that day, we transferred them onto the same flight to depart the following day.”

Qantas Customer Care has apologised to Hooper that the standard of care did not meet his expectations.

Hooper has since described the airline’s response as “totally unacceptable”.

“The doctor recommended a paramedic,” he tweeted. “I pleaded for a paramedic. Qantas did not call for a paramedic to my semi-conscious wife, or give us priority disembarkation from the plane. Try again, Qantas.”