A Southwest Airlines passenger says she found out her husband was planning to commit suicide just moments before her flight took off, but flight attendants prevented her from calling him, citing FAA regulations. By the time she got home, he had been found dead.

As she waited to fly from New Orleans to Wisconsin, Karen Momsen-Evers received this nightmare text message from her husband: “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself…”

“No, no,” she texted back.

“Yes, because I have to.”

Momsen-Evers tried to call police and send them to help her husband, but she says a flight attendant coming through the cabin “slapped the phone down.” Even after she showed him the texts, she says, he told her to put the phone in airplane mode.

She says she tried explaining the situation to another member of the flight crew, once the flight was in the air, but still wasn’t allowed to use her phone.

“I begged her, I said I’m sure someone can make an emergency phone call,” Momsen-Evers told local NBC affiliate WTMJ-4, but she was told there was nothing the flight crew could do.

She cried through the entire flight to Milwaukee. When the plane landed, she was finally able to make the emergency call. Police officers met her at home and informed her that her husband, Andy, was dead.

“They got on their knees, put their hats over their heart and gave me the I regret to inform you that your husband has died,” she told WTMJ-4.

“Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time. Flight attendants are trained to notify the Captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers on-board. In this situation, the pilots were not notified,” Southwest Airlines (slogan: “Without a heart, it’s just a machine”) said in a statement.

[h/t Consumerist, Photo: TMJ4]