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Woman faces compensation demand after giving birth on CAL flight

Woman faces compensation demand after giving birth on CAL flight

Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) Taiwan-based China Airlines (CAL) will demand compensation from a woman who gave birth on a Los Angeles-bound flight earlier this month, forcing it to make an unscheduled stop in Anchorage, Alaska, Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Jian-yu (???) said Monday. Chen made the remarks during a legislative hearing in the wake of media reports that the woman had concealed the fact that she was already 36 weeks pregnant and intentionally took the flight late in her pregnancy for the purpose of giving birth in U.S. territory. Ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lo Shu-lei (???) condemned the woman for ignoring the safety of herself, her baby and the other passengers just to get a U.S. passport for her child. Lo said it is unreasonable that CAL should have to cover the more than NT$1 million in costs incurred from the plane having to land in Anchorage and arriving in Los Angeles several hours behind schedule. As the largest shareholder of CAL, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications should ensure that the company demand compensation from the woman, she said. In response, Chen said that although penalties are currently not available for such situations, his ministry will have CAL demand compensation from the woman to make up for the losses caused and to deter similar incidents from happening in the future. Also that day, CAL said that its insurance company is currently calculating the costs incurred from the incident and will seek compensation from the woman. The airline company again urged pregnant passengers to consult with their doctors before taking flights. According to CAL regulations, healthy expectant mothers who are not yet 32 weeks pregnant or who are at least eight weeks from their due date are treated as normal passengers. Those who are 32 weeks pregnant and above are required to submit medical information sheets signed by their doctors. The woman gave birth Oct. 8 aboard a CAL flight that had departed Taiwan at 11:50 p.m. the previous night. About six hours into the flight, the woman, who claimed that she was not yet 32 weeks pregnant, reported that her water had broken. Crew members immediately asked for help among the passengers and a doctor on board volunteered to assist the woman. The captain informed the airline company of the situation and asked for permission to land at the nearest airport -- Anchorage -- for the sake of safety of the woman and her baby. But about 30 minutes before the plane landed at Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport, the woman delivered the baby, with the assistance of the doctor and cabin crew. After the plane landed at Anchorage, the woman and her baby were taken to a local hospital where they were both reported to be in good condition. After refueling, the plane continued onward to Los Angeles, more than three hours behind schedule. The woman was deported by U.S. authorities late Saturday, but the reason for her deportation was not disclosed. (By Wang Shu-fen and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-28 16:25 GMT+08:00