Injured Singapore Airlines air turbulence passengers offered $10,000 in compensation

11 June 2024, 11:32

Over a hundred people were treated in a Bangkok hospital
Over a hundred people were treated in a Bangkok hospital. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Will Conroy

Singapore Airlines has offered compensation to passengers who were injured on a London to Singapore flight that encountered severe turbulence last month.

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A 73-year-old British man died and dozens more were injured when the plane dropped 54 metres in just 4.6 seconds over Myanmar before being diverted to carry out an emergency landing in Thailand.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the airline said it will pay $10,000 to those who sustained minor injuries.

They are providing passengers with more serious injuries “an advance payment of $25,000 to address their immediate needs” and further discussions to meet “their specific needs”.

It is unknown how many passengers will be eligible for the higher payment but over a hundred people were treated in a Bangkok hospital which said there were spinal cord, head and muscle injuries.

Six Britons were among those in intensive care while Geoff Kitchen, a grandfather from Gloucestershire in the UK, was killed after a suspected heart attack as the plane dropped.

Read more: Singapore Airlines turbulence flight that left Brit dead 'dropped 54 metres in four seconds'

Read more: Plane passengers to be told to always wear seatbelts after Singapore Airlines turbulence that killed man

Passengers spoke of how crew members and those not wearing seatbelts were slammed into the cabin ceiling.

There were 18 crew and 211 passengers on board the Boeing 777-3000ER aircraft, including many Britons, Australians and Singaporeans.

Bradley Richards, from Essex, was on board and said last month that “it felt like something from a movie, not real life.”

He added: “I remember waking up and blood was just pouring from my head; there were kids screaming and people running around everywhere.

“It was all so traumatic. I remember I felt the back pain straight away. I tried to use my cushion – one of the ones they hand out on flights – to stem the blood pouring from my head.”

Director of Samitivej Hospital Adinun Kittiratanapaibool talks to reporters during a press conference
Director of Samitivej Hospital Adinun Kittiratanapaibool talks to reporters during a press conference. Picture: Alamy

The company will additionally offer a full fare refund for all passengers on the flight, including those who did not sustain any injuries and said they will receive delay compensation in accordance with European Union or United Kingdom regulations.

Airlines must offer compensation when passengers are injured or die on a flight, under international regulations.

The company also offered passengers $1,000 to cover immediate costs and arranged for relatives to fly to Bangkok when requested.

The incident has led to conversations over seatbelt rules with passengers usually permitted by airlines to undo their belts during normal conditions.

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