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Compensation for spilt coffee (burn and shirt)

Compensation for spilt coffee (burn and shirt)

Old Jan 7, 19, 9:30 am
  #1  
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Compensation for spilt coffee (burn and shirt)

Thank you in advance for your wisdom and any advice you offer, my experience dealing with AA in the past has been purely for IRROPS, and have no experience of their customer relations.

i was flying on a BA ticketed AA operated flight PHL-LHR last week. Opting not to be woken for breakfast, unfortunately the CC spilt hot coffee when putting the coffee pot back on the cart having served the pax in the opposite seat, this poured onto my seat and back, staining my shirt and causing a scald on my back and waking me up from my sleep. Mistakes happen.

CC didnít realise, even when I said ďyouíve spilt coffee on me, can I get some serviettesĒ, she got me the serviettes from the valley but no mention of an apology.

Hacibg gone to the WC and carried out burn first aid action as best as possible (difficult when the scald is on your back and the taps so difficult to access, thankfully I had an empty water bottle to assist) I spoke with the senior CC who appeared disengenious in her answer ďoh Iím sorry Iím sure she didnít mean toĒ.

I contacted Ted customer relations who have offered either 1500 bonus miles (Iím not an AAdvantage member) or a $25 dollar voucher for future travel with AA, plus the cost of dry cleaning of the shirt.

My question essentially is what would you do in my shoes? Options I guess are 1. Accept the miles 2. Accept the voucher (how easy are these vouchers to use- most of my flights booked with AA are around the $2k+ value so realistically makes little difference, 3. Request complaint is escalated 5. Decline offer out of principle as an insult and avoid flying AA in the future (fully aware that flying BA to US means AA get some of the profits too).
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Old Jan 7, 19, 10:10 am
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Decline offer, definitely.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 10:34 am
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Did you see a medical professional?
If not, then they are going to assume there isn't a medical issue for them to be concern about.
What, exactly, do you think would be fair? You aren't going to be out of pocket for anything but the cleaning or replacement of the shirt, and AA will cover that.
You came here asking for an opinion, and I will give mine.
I would accept the voucher or the miles, AND the cleaning / replacement of the shirt. I would not feel I am owed anything else. It was an accident. You got an apology, and offer to clean the shirt, and some minor compensation.
Assuming you have no medical bills or other expenses, I think that is enough
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Old Jan 7, 19, 10:39 am
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Thank you both for your responses.

In answer to your question with regards to the seeking of medical advice, I did not seek a medical professional, as a senior what you folk call an ER doctor, there was little point, but I have taken photographs of both the burn and the damage to the shirt.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 10:59 am
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AA is unlikely to budge for liability reasons.

It has acknowledged responsibility for the shirt and will presumably live up to its commitment to pay for cleaning (or perhaps replacement if need be). As to you, the $25 gesture is clearly not compensation of any kind and is not intended to be, lest you change your mind, sue and then suggest that AA has somehow admitted fault for damage (beyond the shirt).

I am afraid that you are fairly well stuck here as AA is not likely to do more.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Did you see a medical professional?
If not, then they are going to assume there isn't a medical issue for them to be concern about.
What, exactly, do you think would be fair? You aren't going to be out of pocket for anything but the cleaning or replacement of the shirt, and AA will cover that.
You came here asking for an opinion, and I will give mine.
I would accept the voucher or the miles, AND the cleaning / replacement of the shirt. I would not feel I am owed anything else. It was an accident. You got an apology, and offer to clean the shirt, and some minor compensation.
Assuming you have no medical bills or other expenses, I think that is enough
FlyerTalk: Where having hot coffee spilled on you while sleeping is a lesser deal than no PDB or inoperable WiFi.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post
FlyerTalk: Where having hot coffee spilled on you while sleeping is a lesser deal than no PDB or inoperable WiFi.
I generally consider PDB and operating IFE/WIFI something I am paying for. I consider the coffee spill an accident, and, as I spill things a lot, I forgive it. YMMV
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Old Jan 7, 19, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
I generally consider PDB and operating IFE/WIFI something I am paying for. I consider the coffee spill an accident, and, as I spill things a lot, I forgive it. YMMV
I'd likely forgive it, too, if the person who spilled the coffee actually asked forgiveness. But that didn't happen here.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:28 pm
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Thank you for your replies, advice and indeed humour thus far. AA just called me and increased the offer to $50 flight voucher.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:30 pm
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OP are you going to sue them for $100MM??

lol
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:31 pm
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If you are in need of medical care or legal advice, those requests are well outside the purview of this forum.

These sorts of posts pop up occasionally (in fact, I was rather tickled that @mvoight responded to a similar same line of inquiry years ago in). Indeed, past spills accompanied by incident reports across common carriers aren't unheard of. Barring personal injury, if none of the proposed offers satisfy you and you feel so inclined, you can try to make a case with the airline to have the shirt replaced.

5. Decline offer out of principle as an insult and avoid flying AA in the future (fully aware that flying BA to US means AA get some of the profits too).
This isn't a lemonade stand; AA couldn't care less. Premium TATL traffic on the NYLON route is their street and one less pedestrian won't make a wink of a difference.
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Last edited by enpremiere; Jan 8, 19 at 8:31 am Reason: Grammar
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:39 pm
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Are we talking blisters, or just a little red for a bit?

While the FA should have apologized, if it was a minor inconvenience and not a full on blistered burn, then really the issue is more FA attitude than injury.

If it did blister, and you have proof, then it’s another matter entirely.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:46 pm
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OP did you get the flight attendants info, granted im sure that can be obtained from the airline. As you are an EM doc you clearly know how bad the burn was. If you had injury I would consult an attorney. You have every right to pursue legal action here, when AA receives a letter from your attorney I am sure you will be met with a much nicer offer to settle out of court.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by enpremiere View Post
If you are in need of medical care or legal advice, those requests are well outside the purview of this forum.

These sorts of posts pop up occasionally (in fact, I was rather tickled that @mvoight responded to a similar same line of inquiry years ago in). Indeed, past spills accompanied by incident reports across common carriers aren't unheard of. Barring personal injury, if none of the proposed offers satisfy you and you feel so inclined, you can try to make a case with the airline to have the shirt replaced.

This isn't a lemonade stand; AA could care less. Premium TATL traffic on the NYLON route is their street and one less pedestrian won't make a wink of a difference.
I am even more tickled my answer in 2011 was similar. (Note, I did update my response there to change a period to a question mark, in case anyone is wondering about today's update)
I generally am against profiting from real accidents. I expect compensation for financial losses incurred, but that is it.
Of course, if someone had purposely spilled coffee on me, I would be a bit more litigious
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Old Jan 7, 19, 1:18 pm
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As the us is a litigious environment unless you retain legal counsel take the $50. AA will not admit fault or do much more than what they have for fear an admission of harm would result in greater liability
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