Widow Says Southwest Airlines Refused To Let Her Call Suicidal Husband

05/14/2015 04:15 pm ET | Updated May 14, 2015

A Wisconsin woman says Southwest Airlines wouldn't allow her to make an emergency phone call last month, one that could have potentially saved the life of her suicidal husband.

Moments before her flight from New Orleans to Milwaukee took off on April 3, Karen Momsen-Evers told Wisconsin's NBC affiliate TMJ4 she received a disturbing text from her husband, indicating he intended to commit suicide.

Momsen-Evers immediately texted her husband back "no," but when she attempted to call him, a flight attendant forced her to turn off her phone, citing Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

She complied, then asked a second attendant for assistance once the flight reached cruising altitude, only to be denied.

"I begged her, I said I'm sure someone can make an emergency phone call," Momsen-Evers recalled to the station

"I showed her the texts. She said that there is nothing she could do and that they could not disturb the pilot," she added to Fox News. "I just wanted someone to go and try to save him."

She says she spent the rest of the flight crying, and was only able to alert police after she arrived at the airport in Milwaukee. When she finally made it home, police officers informed Momsen-Evers her husband was dead.
A spokeswoman for Southwest told The Huffington Post the airline was "extremely saddened to learn of Mrs. Evers' loss, and the Southwest Family extends our deepest condolences."

"Our flight attendants are responsible for executing safety procedures to prepare a flight for departure and arrival, in accordance with FAA regulations, while assisting the up to 100-plus passengers onboard," she added. "Southwest Airlines transports more than 100 million customers a year and it's not uncommon for our crews to assist passengers with life events. In each situation, our employees utilize their training to handle a wide variety of situations to the best of their ability."

"Again, our hearts go out to the Evers family during this difficult time."

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