Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thanks for Saving Me. Give Me Money.

Image via Wikipedia
Hat Tip to Happy Hospitalist - It appears that some aren't completely satisfied with the gesture from US Airways to the passengers of flight 1549.  You will remember this as the flight had the engines blown out when it ran in with a flock of Canadian Geese over a city of 18 million people, and was put down gently on the Hudson River with no casualties whatsoever.

Do a quick search of results of water landings, and you will come to appreciate the skill of the Captain in manuevering this nearly impossible feat.  Then the crew successfully and professionally evacuates a sinking plane and everybody is rescued with no more serious injuries than some bumps and bruises.

Now in a gesture to the passengers on board, US Airways is offering them an upgrade to super-elite status (which, from what I can gather, allows one to use special executive lounges, have priority for seat selection, bypass lines at the airport, go through special security checkpoints, have extra checked baggage allowance, etc) for one year.

I'll be the first to say that super elite status wouldn't mean much to me because I don't fly very much, but it appears that some observers, and possibly even some passengers are now pushing back, saying that they are entitled to more more more.

"I think if you survive a plane crash, being upgraded permanently is a good gesture too," said Fred Berretta, 41, of Charlotte, NC, where the Airbus A320 was headed.
[another passenger says] "They are happy they had such amazing results, and they applaud themselves, and then give us a small token?" she said. "That's how I take it."
Then of course, the all-important random blogger opinion (I know, hypocritical, whatever.)
Seriously, these people have survived something, all of them btw, that, statistically speaking, they had hardly any chance of ever experiencing and they get one year. Maybe a lifetime might be cool? Seeing as none of them will ever want to fly again, let alone fly on your stupid airline…
And finally I find a voice of reason
I’m curious:  whenever someone gets into an automobile accident, do they write to Toyota saying that they deserve a new car for free for the rest of their life?  No?  Then this is the last time I want to hear about how the people who survived the crash deserve anything more than they’ve received.  If the passengers on the plane believe their was negligence of some sort, go ahead and sue.  Good luck with that.
Of course, if you go to the comments from the original link by Happy, you get some gems:
"Mayor Bloomberg has also given them special permission to smoke indoors."

"This was an act of geese. Canadian geese, no less. Not only is no one doing anything about this, these foreign geese are actually protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  I, for one, am outraged."

"Maybe they should try to track down and sue the geese?"

"Sue Canada!"

"Any survivor unsatisfied with the gift of THEIR LIVES should be rounded up dropped into a flock of migrating Canada geese. Land on your own this time you ungrateful bastards."

"the reality that these people are already among the very wealthiest in the world, that being able to fly at all is a privilege unenjoyed by 98% of humanity, seems to be lost on both the 'survivors' and the commentators."
And my favorite:
"They should just give them tshirts that say 'My jet went down in the Hudson and all I got was this lousy tshirt'"
This sense of entitlement just baffles me - and scares me - that people think that anything that happens to them should be someone else's fault and should be compensated.  Now before I get lambasted for being uncaring or whatever, let me explain that I understand what a traumatic experience this can be, and I understand that not every passenger (or, probably, not very many passengers) is so ungrateful.  But when you voluntarily board an airline to reach your destination faster than you could by taking a car (or walking, like most of the rest of the world has to do), and then that airline suffers an unforeseen and unforeseeable incident for which they bear no liability whatsoever, and that 99 percent of the time would mean the deaths of most or all on board and which results in a random ER blogger typing run-on sentences that are so long that even he doesn't really know what his point was going to be when he started them, and everyone survives with their lives, then perhaps you should owe the airline some kind of gift.

I think if I had been on board that plane, I would find a way to send a bouquet of flowers to Captain Sullenberger every year for the rest of my life to thank him.

This is kind of like you coming into my ER in full cardiac arrest for 15 minutes with no chance of survival and somehow I revive you to full health with no neurological deficit, and then you coming up to me and saying, "I think I shouldn't have to pay my ER bill because that was very traumatic.  Oh, and give me money.  And your wife."

Welcome to America, land of the entitled.


Gina said...

I agree with your sentiment. America has become the nation who wants rights with no responsibility. You know the old adage "the higher you go, the harder you fall"? We're getting closer and closer to that dangerous precipice. To me, anymore, America is an nice idea...not a nation built on sacrifice and hard work.

Penelope said...

I could be wrong, but I really don't think that Canadians share this kind of mentality. At least not to the degree that it appears to be in the US.

It would be interesting to know what the difference might be between the two cultures that might account for this, given that we are side by side and share most media.

If I survived that crash, I would be thanking God and the pilots and crew and wondering how to use my life for a better purpose with my "second chance".

Unknown said...

I think this is more a case of America, land of take all the free money you can get, whenever you can get it" more than entitlement. This is the culture of powerball, Lotto, casinos, and a whole lot of lawsuits in and outside of medical malpractice. We just want free money. However, it is a sad state of affairs.

annahannah said...

Don't give them your wife.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Ungrateful bastards. We should however give out T-Shirts to arrest survivors, "I survived cardiac arrest and still have enough neurons to read this lousy T-shirt they gave me." Too long?

Erika said...

I completely agree.. I enjoyed this post, like many others..Well said!