Who Pays When -You- Divert a CO Flight?

 
Old Feb 26, 08, 8:08 pm
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Who Pays When -You- Divert a CO Flight?

After reading this nightmare thread of a not-so-fruitful flight to China,
http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=794018
it got me thinking: when you are responsible for a diversion, either for medical reasons or criminal reasons, who is responsible for paying for the mess?

If you're on a transoceanic flight and have a heart attack and the crews decide its best to turn around home, there's tremendous fuel costs ...not to mention the costs of re-accommodating all of the passengers on-board.

Or, if you decide to get drunk and go on a rampage and the flight crews decide its in the best interest to bring the plane down ASAP and have you arrested, who again picks up the tab of flight?

Will CO come after you with a claim against your medical insurance ...or perhaps a civil suit against you for their "damages" --or does CO itself have insurance for these instances?

If I was having a heart attack, I'd also want to land ASAP for immediate medical care. But then again, the thought of messing up 280 passengers travel plans and the financial implications of such ...I may be better off dead
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Old Feb 26, 08, 8:26 pm
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Some really good questions. I would assume CO has insurance which would cover this, but who knows.
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Old Feb 26, 08, 8:40 pm
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I imagine it would come down to culpability. If the disturbance was within your control - getting drunk and rampaging - they could seek reimbursement. If you have a heart attack, it's not your fault.

(Yes, smart guys, technically it may be your fault given your lifestyle choices, but your choice to have it at a time that would require diverting a plane it is not.)

As a Silver, croaking on a plane is probably the only shot I have at a free ride up front though

The insurance probably has specific situations it will and will not cover...
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Old Feb 26, 08, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Mile-Hor View Post
I imagine it would come down to culpability. If the disturbance was within your control - getting drunk and rampaging - they could seek reimbursement. If you have a heart attack, it's not your fault.

(Yes, smart guys, technically it may be your fault given your lifestyle choices, but your choice to have it at a time that would require diverting a plane it is not.)

As a Silver, croaking on a plane is probably the only shot I have at a free ride up front though

The insurance probably has specific situations it will and will not cover...
The source is canada.com, although it happened in CO (the state, not the airline!)
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/ne...bf324c&k=92087

The gist of it is that an Alaskan Air pax got drunk and belligerent, and the SEA-MIA plane was diverted to DIA/DEN (didn't know which is right) and he was ordered to pay AS $7500.
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Old Feb 26, 08, 9:20 pm
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Maybe she got sick from the "weather." This is CO after all.
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Old Feb 27, 08, 1:27 am
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here is a decent discussion of the costs and who pays -
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5670369

with Scott Maccollum (sp?) who writes the "middle seat" travel column.

As airlines have to regularly deal with diversions due to any of a large number of reasons (medical, behavior, weather, mehcanical, ATC) they simply budget for it and then try mightily to limit costs. I do not believe it possible to find any company out there that would be willing to insure against the costs of such an event.

Diversions cost anywhere from less than ten thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I believe airlines would not attempt to charge or collect such expenses from a passenger with medical conditions unless they knew the passenger violated the CoC by purposefully not disclosing medical conditions. However, many trip insurance policies, and some health insurance policies, do pay for medical air evacuations which might cover some of this cost. The trip insurance policies all say coverage is voided by bad behavior of the passenger.

Foreign airlines regularly sue to recover diversion costs caused by passenger behavior.

Interestingly, the CO's Contract of Carriage doesn't talk about a passenger's liability for behavior that costs the airline money (at least I couldnt find it).

Ironically, the CoC does state that the passenger that gets kicked off a flight has the right to request a refund!!!

I can hear the conversation with the Elite desk now: Uh, yes, um, I would like a refund of my $550 ticket for flight 1110 last week. Why? Well, its kinda silly and embarrassing. I drank waay too much at the PC and I really had to pee. I mean, I REALLY needed to go-I just couldnt wait. So, I got up and went to the head just after takeoff. Well, the FA's kinda freaked out and tried to stop me. Yeah, really! They actually tried to tackle me which made me piss in my pants. So then I got mad and, well, long story short we got diverted BWI and they kicked me off the plane. Yep! that was me! Oh, I guess you heard about it? Oh, right, everyone has heard about it. Pretty crazy, huh? Geez, you dont know the half of it. Oh. Yeah, I know you are suing me for $11,850 to recover the costs of diverting. No, no, dont deduct it from the $11,850. Huh? Why? Because I really need the money to pay the photocopying expenses my lawyer is racking up defending me from your lawsuit!
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