"We have a medical emergency. Is there a doctor on board?"
If it's a Lufthansa flight, the flight attendants likely not only know that there's a doctor on the plane but that he's sitting in seat 36G.
That because of the airline's innovative Doctors on Board program. Here's how it works:
- Doctors fill out the Doctor on Board registration form, identifying their areas of expertise and agreeing to provide medical assistance if needed.
- If they're not already members, they join Lufthansa's Miles & More mileage program.
- Thereafter they can be identified inflight by their Miles & More numbers.
There's a decidedly modest incentive for signing up: 5,000 bonus Miles & More miles.
More importantly, Lufthansa assures prospects that they face no legal recourse if they are indeed called upon to minister to an ailing passenger:
Your legal situation as the doctor treating a patient on board is covered. You are covered personally, within the framework of third-party insurance that Deutsche Lufthansa AG has concluded for such cases, against possible claims of recourse by the passenger you have treated.
This strikes me as a smart, well thought-out program—a win for Lufthansa, its passengers, and the doctors who choose to participate.
American carriers should take note.
Reader Reality Check
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.