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F/A Spilled Hot (Tea) Water on me during flight - How to handle?

F/A Spilled Hot (Tea) Water on me during flight - How to handle?

Old Apr 18, 14, 6:28 pm
  #1  
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F/A Spilled Hot (Tea) Water on me during flight - How to handle?

I was on a connecting flight from the New York area to South Florida. While seated on my aisle seat, the F/A was with the cart next to me serving someone hot tea water from the carafe. While seated, I felt pin-like sensations on my arm in rapid succession. I then realized that the water was dripping from the carafe onto my left forearm (the underside of the arm) possibly from when he was pouring it. I immediately yelled to get the F/A's attention and point out that the water was burning my arm.

The flight attendant then gave me a bag of ice to keep on my arm and they asked if there was any medical people on board to take a look at it. My concern was whether or not my arm would blister after the fact. They advised me to keep ice on it (changed out from time to time) for the duration of the flight. My forearm was sore like the feeling you get from a sunburn without wearing suntan lotion-- so it was throbbing a little. They then had me go to the back of the plane's galley where all of the flight attendant's were gathered. A man who said he was an EMT, said to keep ice on it.

Since I don't have a medical background, I wanted to make sure that I documented this in case it blistered after I got off of the plane. I wanted to make sure they could not say "prove it happened on the plane" in case I needed additional medical attention later. I asked to receive something in writing to confirm the incident and they said that they do not give the passenger anything in writing. I then asked for the flight attendant's name and was told that they do not give out names. At this point, I got extremely frustrated. It appeared that they were more interested in CYA than anything else. When I returned to my seat, they asked to see my boarding pass and took it to the front galley.

When another F/A returned. I asked for her name. She told me that she did not have to give it to me and it was their policy. I said that as a 1k for many years, I have had no problem getting names of F/A's when I wanted to pay a compliment and even received their full names and employee numbers. I said that as much as my arm hurt, it was bothering me more that they were not handling this well. Additionally, I do not remember receiving an apology from the F/A who got the hot water on me in the first place. I said that I would include this information when I contacted corporate to express my disappointment and frustration about the way this was handled. She then went to the front galley and conferred with all of the other F/A's. The man who got the hot water on me came over to me and then said he was the lead F/A and gave his first name. They also gave me a UA sheet that had a web address to file a claim about the injury.

At the F/A's request, the paramedics met me after the plane landed. They looked at my arm and saw it was red in spots (where my other forearm had none). When I asked about the possible blistering, they said that it would have happened already if it was going to -- so I felt relieved not having to worry about that happening. My arm was red for about a day and then disappeared as well as the pain.

That being said, I understand that accidents happen, but I did not expect to get injured on a flight and spend the entire flight in discomfort holding an ice pack. I also really don't like the way that the F/A's were more about CYA than anything else.

Does anyone else have a similar experience? How did you handle it? What would be the appropriate response to expect and/or ask for from UA, if any?

Thanks.
LHR Wannabee is offline  
Old Apr 18, 14, 6:34 pm
  #2  
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there should have been an inflight incident report; if not that's quite serious. With medical support being called to the plane there must be some sort of documentation. IMO I would not ask for anything, but simply state the facts to UA and see what they want to do.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 6:36 pm
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Sorry, I think this was generally handled correctly. You sound a bit fussy and overly concerned with the future-blistering bogeyman.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 6:50 pm
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Sounds like they already went a bit above and beyond asking for medical assistance on board and then calling additional attention upon landing. I mean, I get the water was hot and it probably hurt at the time...but honestly? It was obviously an accident. I surely hope you're not looking to gain financially for having a few drops of hot water hit your arm. That would be quite the overreaction, to be frank.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 6:51 pm
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"...the paramedics met me after the plane landed"...you are not serious are you? For 'red spots' on your arm?
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Old Apr 18, 14, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by DENviaLAX View Post
Sounds like they already went a bit above and beyond asking for medical assistance on board and then calling additional attention upon landing
Exactly my point. They were more interested in CYA than anything else. I personally thought the medical attention upon landing was not needed (and I even said so), but they said it was at their request.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by LHR Wannabee View Post
Exactly my point. They were more interested in CYA than anything else. I personally thought the medical attention upon landing was not needed (and I even said so), but they said it was at their request.
Your position here is very confused. You seem much, much, much more concerned about gathering information and "evidence" for a lawsuit (I.e., CYA) than anything to do with making sure you're okay.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:00 pm
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I guess I don't get what you're looking for then. If they exceeded what even you felt was necessary for the situation, then what more do you want? An accident happened causing a minor injury and discomfort to you. Albeit unfortunate, I see nothing wrong with the way they responded. They gave you an abundance of medical attention to make sure you were alright. Beyond that, I don't really see anything more they could have done.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:01 pm
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I do think it's ridiculous that the FA wouldn't give a name, though...
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post
I do think it's ridiculous that the FA wouldn't give a name, though...
If I were the FA, and the OP acted as I imagined he or she did, I wouldn't either.

If OP gives the 1K desk the flight info, UA would know the FA names. No need for the OP to know it.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by LHR Wannabee View Post
Does anyone else have a similar experience? How did you handle it? What would be the appropriate response to expect and/or ask for from UA, if any?
This is gonna cost UA BIG TIME!

Hope you kept count of how many drops hit your arm, as recent cases have been settled for about a mil a drop!

F/A's with bad attitudes, who don't provide their names when it was requested, usually doubles the settlement!

"Oh, we're movin' on up to the east-side.....finally got a pieeeeece of the pie!"
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:11 pm
  #12  
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I am not interested in a lawsuit. I just don't think they handled it properly. Flying over 100k a year for many years gives me the perspective to know when something seems off. From a customer service perspective, an apology would have been nice at the time it happened not closing ranks to tell me anyone's name or being able to document it in the event that it did blister. As I mentioned, I do not have medical training and wanted to make sure there was a record in case it blistered and I needed to go to the doctor. I specifically said that I did not need any additional medical attention or think paramedics were needed--they said it was not my decision. For those of you usual-board-flamers, what if my arm had blistered afterwards? At what point would you have wanted to make sure that you could have a record of it happening?
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by LHR Wannabee View Post
I am not interested in a lawsuit. I just don't think they handled it properly. Flying over 100k a year for many years gives me the perspective to know when something seems off. From a customer service perspective, an apology would have been nice at the time it happened not closing ranks to tell me anyone's name or being able to document it in the event that it did blister. As I mentioned, I do not have medical training and wanted to make sure there was a record in case it blistered and I needed to go to the doctor. I specifically said that I did not need any additional medical attention or think paramedics were needed--they said it was not my decision. For those of you usual-board-flamers, what if my arm had blistered afterwards? At what point would you have wanted to make sure that you could have a record of it happening?
This blistering situation, let's have a chat about it. Do you know what a blister is? Do you understand that a blister is not cancer? You have mentioned post-event blistering like a billion times, and seem really obsessed with it. Is there some reason why? Are you under the impression that blistering is a big deal? I really don't understand your obsession with blistering.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
This blistering situation, let's have a chat about it. Do you know what a blister is? Do you understand that a blister is not cancer? You have mentioned post-event blistering like a billion times, and seem really obsessed with it. Is there some reason why? Are you under the impression that blistering is a big deal? I really don't understand your obsession with blistering.
I find it funny that OP asked for advice, and instead of taking it, we're now
"flamers". That word, and clearly no pun intended by the OP, shows he didn't
really want our advice if it was negative.

I see an FT evangelist, a 9K poster, a 6K poster, and a 2K poster/2MM all responding
the same way. Yes, we're all flamers.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:18 pm
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The in flight request for medical help and the paramedics on arrivial were for two purposes
1) to make sure you did not have 1st or 2nd degree burn -- sounds like you did not - good;
2) CYA (of course) once you start asking for names and stating you are going to report this, it of course signal alarms of possible legal action. At that point it is their responsibility to protect themselves and UA by having adequate medical documentation of the extent of injuries. Just as your also desired.

Sorry you were injured, it should not happen but in human interactions things happen. I think it was poor form not to provide a first name and apology immediately but the more you press the more you began to look like a problem case. But even then it appears they attended to your medical needs in a professional manner.

If you are still concern, seek your own medical checkup.

My guess is someone from UA corp will do a followup to check on your condition and likely offer some goodwill compensation.
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