A man died during a United Airlines flight after showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, prompting experts to seek out fellow passengers in an effort to contact trace.

  • United Airlines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now working to track down all the passengers on the flight to inform them of the man’s illness, according to BuzzFeed News.

What happened:

A male passenger who filled out a required checklist before boarding — saying that he had not tested positive for COVID-19 and had not experienced symptoms — passed away during a United flight, according to NBC News.

  • The incident occurred during a flight from Orlando to Los Angeles on Monday.
  • The flight diverted to New Orleans, however, when a man became ill on the plane.
  • Paramedics transported the passenger to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


United Airlines confirmed the incident in a statement (via NBC News):

  • “At the time of the diversion, we were informed he had suffered a cardiac arrest, so passengers were given the option to take a later flight or continue on with their travel plans,” the airline said. “Now that the CDC has contacted us directly, we are sharing requested information with the agency so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection.”