Alarming News

January 27, 2009

I would have thought surviving would be enough but what do I know?

US Airways crash survivors paid $5000 each by the airline, some say it’s not enough.

Hat-tip James.

Posted by Karol at 05:44 PM |
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Think about all their stuff in the overhead and luggage compartments. Laptops alone are three grand and I’m not sure what the radar situations in planes are, but if that gaggle of geese was big enough, the plane should have been able to avoid hitting them. Yes, surviving is awesome…but for the most part, I think that’s like the basement for airline flights. Like no one is logging on the yelp all excited about us airways because he or she “survived.” “Yeah, this is the BEST airline ever…I was wading up to my knees in the Hudson in the middle of January, lost all my stuff and will never fly again, but DUDE! I SURVIVED!”

Posted by: nds at January 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm

If it were me I’d say forget the laptop and thank the almighty G-d that I was still alive. And I wouldn’t spend my time trying to get money out of the airline.

Posted by: Karol at January 27, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Geese are what is known to us sane people as an “Act of God.” You know, kind of like a freakin’ F-5 landing on your house.
The fact that you think a modern airliner would have enough time to have a “geese warning” and react tells me that you are a member of that faction which believes mankind has somehow managed to obtain superiority over nature and the laws of physics. Um, no.
I’m going to give a quick aviation lesson for the flying impaired. Basically there comes a point in the takeoff roll where you could have someone say, “Dude, you’re on fire!” and that plane is still rotating off the runway (see Concorde, crash of). So, perhaps that flock of geese may have appeared on the radar, but the pilot was more concerned with small things like making sure that multi-ton behemoth stayed airborne rather than trying to play dodge, dodge, GOOSE. Because you think a few bird strikes ruin your day, try a low speed stall at a couple hundred feet.
These people should be f-ing happy their alive. Period. Full stop. The pilot basically pulled off one of the most difficult feats in aviation, and now they want to b*tch about losing _STUFF_. You know, the sort of thing you buy travel insurance for because, hey, most people realize sh*t happens like Canadian Geese deciding “Screw that big a** shiny bird, we got right of way!”
Don’t want to take a chance your da*n plane could fall out of the sky and take your stuff with it, DRIVE. But don’t decide to be a punk b*tch and whine about how you get the shakes, sue, then basically make the rest of us have to fill out _even more_ paperwork. If you can’t afford to lose your three grand laptop, don’t take it with you / buy travel insurance. Other than that, just be glad you’re still breathing (because right now if these a**hats got struck by lightning I’d be cheering) and call it a day.

Posted by: James at January 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Between the value of lost possessions, the canceled plans, and the anxiety from the ditch and rescue, “thanks for not crashing” is a noble attitude for someone who watched the story develop on Gawker.

Posted by: Charles at January 28, 2009 at 10:10 am

3 grand for a laptop, nds? No wonder you’re going to so much trouble to revive your old one…

Posted by: Alceste at January 28, 2009 at 10:45 am

Culture of “gimme”.

Posted by: Tatyana at January 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Nah, just the dregs of lawyerdom.

Posted by: Casca at January 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm

nds, it’s not a gaggle of geese when they’re in flight, it’s a skein.
Five grand seems ok to me, but I reckon some of the travel insurance firms’ lawyers will be doing the suing.
Any law suit like this takes years, but a payout to a survivor should be less than to a widow or orphan IMO.
Years ago, a school friend of mine lost his dad in an explosion at a munitions factory (yes, we have a thriving gun quarter in my town). I overheard my dad say “They’d rather kill you than cripple you, the payouts larger”. It took me a while to figure out what he meant.

Posted by: bryan at January 28, 2009 at 6:53 pm

It isn’t hard for some people to lose $5000 worth. A couple of good suits, two pairs of good shoes, the wife’s similar clothes, a couple of winter coats, a laptop or even two, your MP3-with-video players, that Nikon D90 (or even D300) you got for Christmas, perhaps gifts you’re bringing. And that’s just tangible stuff. Certain people had data that may be irreplaceable, like personal photos, or business data that will take great pain to reconstruct.
The airline is offering money firstly because it had the implicit obligation to transport its customers safely. The accident was not its fault in that it did not arise from any of its employees’ negligence, and Sullenberger was positively heroic in saving everyone, but he was right: he really was just doing his job. That they all survived with minor injuries still doesn’t absolve the airline from paying damages for lost cargo. So its executives quickly decided to offer $5000 per person. Certain airline regulations (gee we’re always told the industry was de-regulated, aren’t we) limit an airline’s monetary liability, but $5000 is a round figure that will satisfy most people and thus preempt lawsuits.
The second reason US Airways is offering money is for the sake of future passengers as well as those on Flight 1549. It’s bad PR for an airline to be in the news for not reimbursing passengers somehow, no matter how amazing it is that they all survived.
As for passengers who will cite “emotional distress” and seek damages because they can no longer fly, such claims are very difficult to prove, and a jury in a civil case could view it as greed rather than sincere PTSD. Those passengers will probably settle later for additional money.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 29, 2009 at 12:24 am
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