Sad Money Grabbing Airline Company

An airline has apologised for wrongly telling a father a member of his family had died during a long-distance trip.

From: BBC News

Updated: 15th April 2008
This is a heavily edited version of the original post I made on the 6th April.
Usually, I don’t completely edit a post, but then usually I don’t write a post which completely slams someone when I’ve based the facts on something I read from one single source (in this case the BBC).

To be fair to the BBC, it was probably my interpretation of the article that was skewed in addition to the BBC not giving the ‘complete’ story.

Normally, this is just a personal blog full of "nothing" that no-one actually reads, it’s just somewhere I can "let go", where I don’t have to concentrate on as much as my commercial/business blogs.
Somehow I let my guard slip too far. I created this post in a few minutes and published it without due regard for the persons concerned.  The person mentioned below has since contacted me and given me the full story.  Now I know some of your will say, it’s still only his side of the story, but the fact is, I made a rash post without the full facts, and that was entirely wrong for that reason alone.
I will publish his full story (with his approval) and I’ll think you’ll agree that (1) I was entirely wrong in judging him the way I did and (2) the story as presented by the British media did not give the full picture.

So first and foremost, before I make the edits, I offer my sincere apologies to Chris Miller and for any further problems this may have caused.

An airline has apologised for wrongly telling a father a member of his family had died during a long-distance trip.

From: BBC News

Initially I thought how terrible this must have been for the guy to go through. I mean, I’m a father of 3 kids and I was be devastated if I received a phone call like this.

That was until I read further on into the story.

Mr Miller said he had received a call from someone saying: "I have a couple of numbers for you, the first number is the undertakers dealing with the body".

Mr Miller said: "At that point I believed one of my family was dead. I said, ‘What happened, what’s going on?’ but they put the phone down on me.

Which must have been a terrible shock.
But then you read on:

"Then after 10 seconds they rang again to say it was a mistake."

10 seconds ? Now don’t get me wrong. Even one second is one second longer than I would ever want to deal with those thoughts.  I probably would have crapped my pants and tried to contact the rest of the family to make sure they were OK, but in 10 seconds I probably would have not had a chance to lift the phone and dial the number.

So after 10seconds, what are this guys thoughts?
Joy?
Happiness?
Relief?

Nope. He is complaining that the airline isn’t willing to give him compensation.

Sort your life out you sad man.
You have your daughter.
She is safe.
The airline apologised and I bet they apologised profusely.
But the main part that you need to get through your money grabbing skull, is that you have your daughter.
Ask them to make a donation to a charity in Africa so that some poor family can stand a chance of seeing their daughter live, but don’t try and make money out of this accidental mix-up.

Your feelings were hurt and you messed a pair of your favourite track suit bottoms, but c’mon.  This isn’t the US where we sue at the drop of a hat. 

"Obviously to Emirates, putting a family through absolute hell is worth nothing. It is an unbelievable feeling to think one of your loved ones has died."

Erm… for all of 10 seconds.
I might have had some sympathy if he had been left to think this for days or weeks. I might even have let you away with a few hours. But 10 bloody seconds ?

Accept the apology and move on.
Think about the parents and family of Michael Edgeley, the 22 year old who actually died.
His family didn’t get a call after 10 seconds, and they won’t ever be getting a call. If you want to see real long term grief, go visit them.

So once again, my apologies to Chris.  As you can see, once you take out my bad comments, there isn’t much left.
I will be creating a new post over the next few days, which hopefully is a little more balanced.

  • Sad Money Grabbing Git

    Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately you do not have all the facts about what happened because the media has not presented the full details. I always believed that people should take what they read in the press with a pinch of salt, and this case fully confirms this belief.
    At no point have we ever asked or expected compensation for the phone call. The phone call was merely one blunder amongst a long list of errors which the airline made. The media have chosen to concentrate on the phone call, we cannot control this – For a full description of some of the problems we have had try reading http://andrewnorton.info/blog/2008/04/08/compo-culture/ or alternatively http://www.rustylime.com/index.php?page=2
    If after reading the full accounts you still feel the same way then fair enough but if it does change your mind I would appreciate a retraction.
    Chris

  • Chris, once again, many thanks for your comment and subsequent emails. Having read your email and from other sources, I can see I made an major error of judgement in posting my initial article.
    Please accept my apologies and best of luck with your quest to gain a decent and fair apology from Emirate Airlines.
    Chris

  • Chris Miller

    Thank you for updating your site after my original comments. Your totally honest response and understanding is greatly appreciated by my family.
    All the very best mate.
    Chris

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