Uğur Cebeci You are on an airplane for a one-day business trip. You are taking a look at the notes for the meeting that you are going to attend. At the same time, cabin attendants start serving food. You order coffee.
Just as you grab the cup, you experience a moment of clumsiness. Coffee spills on your trousers. Suddenly you feel the heat of the coffee on your leg. A huge stain appears. You feel depressed as the meeting you are going to attend comes into your mind in addition to your pain.
Passengers on airplanes experience this kind of lapse maybe a thousand times a day. Food and drinks are scattered around, sometimes due to clumsiness, sometimes turbulence. Clothes are ruined. Worse than that, if the tea or coffee is extremely hot, serious burns can occur.
In these kinds of events, insurance arrives on the scene. Airlines solve damage caused by cabin attendants or situations like turbulence that out of their control through insurance schemes.
If you experience such misfortune stay calm. Cabin attendants are specially trained for these kinds of events. Let them help you. They will try to clean the stain with a wet, refreshing towel. Immediate intervention will help to prevent permanent damage from the stain. If hot drinks or soup spills, first aid treatment can also be performed.
If the stain cannot be cleaned, ask the cabin attendant to fill out a form. Information about how the stain occurred, and the brand and size of the clothing that was stained are written on the form. Do not forget to give your phone number and e-mail address.
After the form is filled out, a paper with the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the office that you need to contact will be given to you. Cabin attendants give the form to the responsible office after the flight and you will be contacted after the form is reviewed. If you experience such an incident and no one calls you back after two or three days, call the responsible office. Usually insurance departments are obligated to deal with your complaint. Inform the department about your flight number and the date of your flight. Insurance departments generally ask passengers to dry clean their clothes and then they pay the price written on the bill.
If the stain cannot be removed, ask for a report from the dry cleaning company. Be sure that �The stain could not be cleaned� is clearly written in the form. Go to the insurance department with this report and the bill. Compensation will be paid according to the brand of the cloth.
The same form can be used in case your clothes are ripped by the seat, which occurs as frequently as spills. In this case the price of the clothes are paid to the passenger.
Some interesting events:
A number of unusual lawsuits have been raised in the United States. Especially burns caused by the spilling of hot drinks make passengers demand millions of dollars. Passengers often also complain about the lack of concern displayed by cabin attendants after the spills.
English teacher Süheyla Kesler was coming back from Jamaica with her husband and daughter in 2003. Her leg was scalded when the hot water melted the plastic glass. Angry that the flight attendants did not care about her, she filed a charge against the American Airlines. She settled for $20,000 as indemnity against her loss. After paying for her treatment, Kesler donated the rest of the money, $ 8,000, to Bolluca Çocuk Köyü, an institution established to protect children in need, of which she is a member of the board of trustees.
In a Sun Express airplane flying the Adana-İzmir route, hot tea in a thermos spilled on Tuncay Üllüeser, 60. With slight burns on his face and hands, Üllüeser filed a complaint to the police after landing. The hostesses, who gave statements, were released on prosecutors' order.
A German tourist who was going back to his country with Delta Airlines experienced second-degree burns because of hot coffee spilled due to turbulence. Claiming that the cabin attendants did not help him, he filed charges against the airline company.
Sometimes opposite events also occur. A flight attendant of Continental Airlines sued a passenger in 2005, asserting that the passenger pushed him while he was serving and that he spilled the hot drink on one of the first-class seats.