My name is Dallas McIntosh and I joined British Airways as Cabin Crew in 1996 when I graduated from The University of Strathclyde with a BEng in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. My intention was to fly for a couple of years to see the world before choosing which branch of Engineering to apply my learning to. I enjoyed my job and the lifestyle it facilitated so much that I became a Crew Line Trainer and was promoted to the rank of Cabin Service Director, so my gap year lasted for 20 years.
Two things marred my happiness during the two decades; I was experiencing horrendous depression and anxiety (despite being happy and successful) and the grief of loss I experienced was awful because so many of my colleagues were dying on an almost weekly basis.
In 2014 a close friend who I trained when he joined BA died suddenly. I was in shock and my mental health went into decline. I had heard about Dee Passon who was logging the deaths of Cabin Crew and I contacted her for support for myself.
When Dee talked me through her findings I was initially in denial and convinced myself that there was a mistake. I agreed to assist Dee with the Administration of Angel Fleet, The Facebook based group to communicate the deaths of our current and former crew who were no longer with us.
Sadly the deaths seemed to be becoming more frequent and I was sure it was because our awareness had been raised. It became common knowledge that I was involved with Angel Fleet and I started developing developing paranoia;I didn’t know who to trust so started ruining my relationships with people and pushing them away.
At my lowest point I was sleeping in my car in varying locations because I was convinced that British Airways were watching me (it later came to light that they were) There was an intervention arranged by my GP, friends and family (on one occasion I had planned to commit suicide whilst in the crew hotel on a layover…. That plan was foiled when one of my closest friends found my suicide note earlier than I had anticipated. I was so angry with him as my note was not a cry for help; I just didn’t want to leave a mess at home when i ended my life)
I was eventually “caught” and assessed by the Community Psychiatric team who found that there was no medical problem and I was suffering from stress, depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
British Airways were aware of the situation because I disclosed it to them and then anonymous allegations were received about my conduct. I was accused of a range of issues from racism to endangering the safety of the aircraft…… I could not defend myself because there was no real evidence so I reported sick and was subsequently suspended when I declared myself fit.
I was absent for two years as a result of these suspensions and absences due to poor health. After 6 months my salary was stopped and I could not face asking for State Benefits so I used my savings to keep a roof over my head and my car because I felt safe sleeping in the car.
In 2015 I returned to work. On my second trip back, we encountered an inflight emergency with fumes filling the aircraft cabin. Emergency procedures were initiated and the flight was diverted and landed safely. I resigned shortly afterwards.
The good news is that I am now in excellent health and have my own Freelance Engineering Consultancy and I fly only when absolutely necessary. I develop Apps as part of my business and have been working on an Aerotoxic Fume Reporting App, the worldwide launch of this is imminent.
Click here to read other aircrew & passenger testimonies of being poisoned by toxic cabin air.