American Airlines typo dispatches corpse to Guatemala
Can't tell its GUAs from its GYElbow
A Brooklyn widower is rattling the sabre of litigation at American Airlines after it sent the body of his deceased wife to Guatemala, rather than her native Ecuador.
Miguel Olaya's wife Teresa died in March at the age of 57, and he accordingly asked DeRiso Funeral Home in Bay Ridge to make arrangements for her body to touch down in Guayaquil. He and his daughter flew ahead to organise the funeral, but quickly discovered his missus had gone AWOL.
Olaya told the New York Daily News: "When I got to the airport to pick up the body, they told me they didn't know where she was. I was desperate."
For four days, Olaya and his 16-year-old daughter drove to the airport - in vain. He explained: "My daughter was crying, saying, 'Where's mama, where's mama?'"
Finally, American Airlines informed the pair that Teresa was actually in Guatemala City - 1,400 miles from the intended burial site. She eventually arrived on 4 April but, according to Cathy DeRiso of the funeral home, American Airlines then asked for an extra $321 for its trouble.
DeRiso insisted she'd given the airline the correct destination, an assertion subsequently proved correct when American Airlines discovered some bright spark had typed in the wrong airport code - GUA for Guatemala rather than GYE for Guayaquil.
Although the carrier then waived the extra charge, Olaya on Monday filed suit demanding satisfaction. His lawyer, Richard Villar, said: "How could they lose a body? I mean this is American Airlines, not a small-time operation. And it's not like it was a purse or something."
Olaya is also suing DeRiso, "claiming that the body was badly embalmed and decomposed in the Guatemala City airport - canceling plans for a three-day wake". DeRiso denied the charge, while American Airlines declined to comment on the whole sorry affair. ®
Could Have Been GUM
Hey, the "baggage" was within driving distance. The bloke could have typed GUM for Guam, and it probably would have never made it back.
The fact that AA asked for $321 extra for their mistakes show AA has no heart and sole. They should go bankrupt completely.
Pretty sad all around.
At least Paris would have an excuse...
"Afterall, the peon who entered the data is probably union. The contract probably dictates that they can only type 3 characters per airport.
Changing the GUA to GYA requires a total of 7. Obviously the $321 is the union penalty owed to the employee. AA was simply passing their costs of doing business along "
That makes no sense at all except for the fact you hate unions
At what point...
At what point would a reasonable company have said to themselves "Crap, we're totally screwed here, let's bring out the good faith cheque book and make sure the customer walks away thinking it was an innocent mistake and they've ended up better for it"
Answer? Long before this, and the end result? Hammered in court.
Capitalism works, I don't think anyone can dispute that, but it doesn't fix corporate stupidity.
Attn : Corporations. A stitch in time saves nine. Try applying that to compensation when you cock up.
I seriously hope if/when Cameron gets in the job he doesn't adopt the American Chapter 11 style bankruptcy protection he was harping on about. Companies go bust because of corporate stupidity (in which case they deserve it) or because of consumer stupidity - we always go for lowest prices, who cares how much Ryanair screw us after we buy the ticket - and in that case we deserve it. The market will always fix itself over time, but not if the government feels it must intervene. It might take a while for the market to do it, but if a government truly believes in capitalism, then for the love of money keep your fingers off and be patient.