You may have heard of airlines providing compensation or reimbursement to passengers. This can be for a variety of reasons such as canceled flights, heavily-delayed flights, and lost baggage, among others.
But you have probably not heard of airlines offering to pay medical expenses as a form of reimbursement. That seems awfully odd, doesn't it?
In fact, that's exactly what happened to a family traveling onboard Indian carrier Vistara. On August 11th, a ten-year-old child suffered second-degree burns on a flight from Delhi to Frankfurt after hot water was spilled on her during refreshments service.
Airline in "Hot Water"
Vistara has confirmed that a passenger on its August 11th flight UK-25 from Delhi to Frankfurt received injuries resulting from the drink service.
A ten-year-old child was scorched by hot water that had accidentally been spilled. Vistara has not specified how much hot water it was exactly.
However, it's plausible to believe that considering the quantity of water spilled ended up causing the child second-degree burns, then it could have very well been a teapot of hot water. It's unrealistic to believe that a small cup of hot water did this much damage.
Thankfully, first aid was provided promptly after the incident. Vistara later rebooked the family's return flights and also reimbursed the medical expenses the family had to endure.
While this seems like a good move from the airline, and it totally is, without a doubt, the family was not very pleased with how the incident was handled onboard the flight.
The child's mother, Mrs. Gupta, reported that the Vistara cabin crew onboard the flight handled the situation very poorly. On social media, Mrs. Gupta noted that the crew did not offer an apology and upon arrival in Germany, did not provide the family any medical assistance.
It was thanks to the crew's negligence and unhelpfulness that the Gupta family had to seek medical treatment by themselves in Frankfurt.
Here's what Mrs. Gupta had to say about the incident: “An unfortunate accident poorly handled. Vistara hostess didn't apologize, captain or crew members didn't apologize. After basic first aid on the flight my daughter and I were left in an ambulance to fend for ourselves in an unfamiliar environment.”
Vistara seems to have partially denied Mrs. Gupta's account of the incident. The airline released a statement saying that while the crew did indeed provide immediate first aid following the spill, they also volunteered to help the afflicted child until Flight 25 arrived in Frankfurt.
Furthermore, Vistara claims that medical care was ensured immediately upon landing and that they had arranged for an ambulance to take the family to a hospital.
Following this unfortunate incident, Vistara has announced it will "review and refine" its procedures when dealing with such inflight medical incidents. This will be done to further emphasize the importance of customer comfort and safety onboard its flights.
Such astounding incidents are thankfully rare in today's aviation. While they, without a doubt, do happen, cabin crew are supposed to receive adequate training with regard to properly serving refreshments to passengers.
Not only this but crew members are also taught to properly secure food and drink items that could potentially pose as hazards to passengers. They receive proper instruction on how to serve hot drinks and, furthermore, how to properly cover these drinks so they can be served safely to the passenger.
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