Remember when US Airways Flight 1549’s heroic Hudson River landing made us all feel good about America and ourselves? Well, it’s all going to shit.
Earlier this week Chicago’s Joe Hart, one of the survivors, told USA Today that he’d like to be “made whole for the incident,” and we all know what that means (rubs fingertips together).
US Airways gave the passengers $5000 apiece, as well as ticket reimbursement, and has hired an insurance specialist to help Flight 1549 riders with any claims over that amount. US Airways even gave them “Chairman’s Preferred” status on flights for a year, and while the passengers seem happy with that, another US Airways customer tells the New York Post, “You’re going to crash me into the water, and you’re going to tell me all I get is an upgrade?” and another says the passengers should sue.
Aero-News Network reports that “it appears clerks are toiling away in legal offices around the country to figure out who could be held legally liable in the incident under New York law.” And on Tuesday Bill O’Reilly, upset by reports of previous problems with the plane, said, “I think there has got to be an explanation about GE, General Electric, making these engines, as you are pointing out, they have had trouble with these engines all over the place. They are culpable, too,” and “If the engines were weak, prone to stalling, and hit a few ducks, it’s going to stall. If it was a strong, powerful engine with no problem, it rifles right through the ducks,” before someone reminded him that the plane actually hit geese.
Fallout reaches beyond US Airways: because parody website Adrants posted a fake ad captioned “The Hudson Crash: Just One More Reason to Fly Virgin,” Virgin Airlines is suing them, claiming the spoof “was likely to cause consumer confusion as to source, affiliation or sponsorship.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 30, 2009