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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Baby born mid-air on Qatar Airways flight from Miami to Doha

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A Qatar Airways flight from Miami to Doha welcomed an extra passenger this week when a woman on board gave birth mid-air to a baby boy.

The unnamed woman was on the QR778 flight on March 22, which was diverted to Newfoundland in Canada when the crew learned she was in labor.

The flight had been due to depart Miami shortly before 9pm on Sunday, but was delayed by nearly three hours due to rain storms in Doha at the time.

Passengers on the flight reported that as the plane neared Greenland, there was an announcement that it was being diverted to Gander International Airport in eastern Canada due to a medical emergency.

The baby was born around 30 minutes before the Boeing 777 flight landed amid a snowstorm, according to a passenger who spoke to Doha News.

Passenger’s account

A Dubai resident who was on the flight told Doha News that passengers first became aware of a situation on the plane when cabin crew began moving around, collecting blankets and towels.

He continued:

“Then there was a call-out for any medical staff on board, followed shortly by an announcement that we were being diverted to Gander due to a medical emergency. They didn’t tell us what this was.

But a nurse who had been sitting near me had gone to assist. She came back later to say that a baby had been born at  on the flight and that mother and baby were both well.”

A doctor who was on board is also believed to have assisted the woman, who cabin crew had taken to the back galley of the plane.

The passenger said that after the plane landed at Gander airport around 4:30am, it was met by an ambulance and emergency medical crew, and the mother and baby were taken off the rear exit.

Local newspaper the Gander Beacon reported that the paramedics were from the nearby James Paton Memorial Regional Health Center, and the mother and baby were transported to the hospital where both were said to be resting that afternoon.

The nearly-full flight remained at Gander for more than four hours while it refueled, before it took off again and landed in Doha, several hours late.

While the passengers on board were not officially told of the reason for their lengthy delay, the passenger said that the news quickly spread through the flight.

Nevertheless, many passengers were “very upset” at the delays, he added:

“Although we didn’t get many updates from the pilots, the cabin crew were great in their service. It had to be hard dealing with passengers who were tired, angry and uncomfortable.”

Words of welcome

The airport and other passengers on their flight tweeted their congratulations to the new mom and baby.

Gander Airport’s safety manager Brian Hicks is quoted in the Toronto Sun newspaper saying his staff were used to dealing with emergency landings, as the airport is the easternmost major airport in North America.

But “a birth is a new one and I’ve been here 27 years,” Hicks said.

The nationality of the woman has not been confirmed. Nor is it known how premature the baby was. According to Qatar Airways’ regulations, women are not allowed to fly after the beginning of their 36th week of pregnancy.

Women who are pregnant with multiples or who have complications are not permitted to fly from their 33rd week.

Qatar Airways has not commented on the situation.

Thoughts?

24 COMMENTS

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Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago

If the baby is doing well, probably not a premie. So against FAA rules and against QA policy, a very pregnant woman flew transatlantic? Not very safe for the mother or child. These rules are in place for a reason.

Smarty Salwars
Smarty Salwars
6 years ago

Just because the baby is not a premie does not mean the mother was 36+ weeks pregnant.

Smarty Salwars
Smarty Salwars
6 years ago

My mistake. Just because the baby is a preemie doesn’t mean the baby is unwell.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

For all we know she could easily have been under 36 weeks pregnant, perfectly fit to travel with a note from the doctor. So let’s wait for the facts before jumping to conclusions

Shabzed
Shabzed
6 years ago

So did the baby become ‘Air-borne’ ?

Cybernetttic
Cybernetttic
6 years ago
Reply to  Shabzed

Yeah. The baby was born air-borne 🙂

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago

What happens if the women is for example not eligible to enter Canada or a country when a plane is diverted? Not in the sense of access to medical care, but legally, rights wise. Mabrook to the new mom and hopefully father!

Krive Drine
Krive Drine
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Same with medical care. If you don’t have insurance and money, they won’t receive you in hospital. But if it is an emergency, they will. Baby must be born. 🙂 I am just curious will she be eligible for citizenship.

Canadian Observer
Canadian Observer
6 years ago
Reply to  Krive Drine

No, in Canada they will not deny medical care. But NO, the baby is not eligible for citizenship by virtue of these circumstances. Asked and answered.

Krive Drine
Krive Drine
6 years ago

How? Few years ago an Ugandian gave a birth in airplane, also in Canadian zone, and got citizenship.

Canadian Observer
Canadian Observer
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Anyone in medical distress would be taken care of in Canada. Especially a medical diversion on a plane. But no, the wee babe does not get citizenship by nature of birth in our airspace. No one is denied medical care, especially emergency medical care. That is how we roll.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago

Seems like a bureaucrat’s dream come true to have to admit someone immediately and then allow them to leave the country without deporting them!

Janey in Canada
Janey in Canada
6 years ago

Actually, the child will most likely be granted Canadian citizenship. http://www.canadavisa.com/born-canadian-airspace-canada-citizen.html

Daga
Daga
6 years ago

Why would the pax be so mad?! They should have been happy for the safety of the mother and child.. Uff, people!

Hassan
Hassan
6 years ago
Reply to  Daga

I would be one of those who became irritated. What about my happiness? Giving birth is such a common and passable event and can be avoided on a plane with a little forethought. Am I selfish for not wanting to be held up for several additional hours to the 15 I’d signed up for and the 3 I’d been served in delay prior to departure? There’s a point where some people will snap, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is entirely justified.

Rienz
Rienz
6 years ago
Reply to  Hassan

OK we get it, the birth of child which delays you by “several additional hours” irritates you and you feel “entirely justified”!

OOmph
OOmph
6 years ago

Sounds like a Bollywood movie!

Ali
Ali
6 years ago

The baby was born in Qatar… Airways 😀

Youssef Abi Raad
Youssef Abi Raad
6 years ago

Looks like a failed “anchor baby” attempt

Stallion
Stallion
6 years ago

I was on Doha airport when one of the passengers on this flight told us about this incident n how the flight attendants managed it discreetly and later made announcement of a diversion to Canada becoz of medical emergency. Both mother and infant were taken by medical staff there and seemed very fit. The flight attendant announced that diversion was owing to birth on air n they did service when aircraft was delayed in Canada.

Stallion
Stallion
6 years ago

I also heard that the baby will have US citizenship as he was born in US air space

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