Baby born on plane shortly after takeoff
Healthcare providers assist flight crew with delivery of baby boy aboard airliner over California
LOS ANGELES — A Southwest Airlines flight landed in Los Angeles with one more passenger than when it took off.
A passenger gave birth shortly after Flight 623 took off from San Francisco on Tuesday and the Phoenix-bound jet diverted to Los Angeles International Airport.
The woman was assisted by the flight crew and a doctor and nurse who were aboard, airline spokeswoman Emily Samuels said. She said hopefully the airline has a new customer for life.
Paramedics boarded the aircraft and the mother and newborn, whose names have not been released, were taken to a hospital in good condition, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.
The aircraft was taken out of service for cleaning and the other passengers went on to Phoenix aboard another plane, arriving more than two hours behind schedule.
Passenger Julie Dafoe said she and Kurt Reed were sitting next to the woman.
"One of the nurses that helped she said she was like walking around pacing in the airport so they were thinking she was having contractions," Dafoe told Phoenix TV station KTVK.
"All of a sudden I heard a baby cry like a gurgling sound, like a baby that had too much milk or whatever and I'm like 'There's no babies on this flight,'" Reed said.
Passengers said they had heard the call for a doctor, but nothing about what the medical emergency was.
"The captain announced congratulations for the arrival of this new baby boy," another passenger Aarti Shahani told KTVK. "So we all started applauding, but it was confusing because we thought someone was going to die not be born."