Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu to New York was sent to San Francisco after a male crew died of a heart attack, officials said on Friday (Saturday in New Zealand).
San Francisco airport spokesman Doug Yakel said Hawaiian Airlines 50 landed Thursday night when crew members saw a "heart attack suspected".
Medical personnel attempted CPR during the flight, but stopped the effort before landing. San Matteo County Coroner said he died as soon as the crew arrived.
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Ann Botticelli spokeswoman for Hawaiian Airlines said Emile Griffith had been with the company for 31 years.
"Emil loves and cherishes his profession in Hawaii and has always been with guests," Botticelli said in a statement.
She said she provided counseling services to Griffith's colleagues.
The plane was carrying 253 passengers and 12 crew on departure from Honolulu on Thursday.
Ya'acov said he had loaded the passengers who arrived in San Francisco on another plane five hours after takeoff.
Today, our hearts return to Emil's family and friends. pic.twitter.com/SP66ty6uyi
– Hawaiian Airlines (@HawaiianAir) January 25, 2019
Andrea Bartz, who departed John F. Kennedy Airport, said on Twitter that the crew asked the doctor to be on top of the list and to help medical emergencies.
"Many doctors came forward," Bartz said, tweeting when the plane landed and the police came.
Bartz declined the interview. However, she and other passengers complained to Twitter that the airline was playing ukulele music during an emergency.
"Hawaiian Airlines is still playing an ukulele / traditional song soundtrack for boarding and flight escape, and it does not calm anyone down."