Singapore Airlines Announces Compensation Plans for Turbulence-Affected Passengers

Singapore Airlines has announced its plans to compensate passengers injured during severe turbulence on a flight from London to Singapore. The incident, which took place over Myanmar in May, resulted in the diversion of flight SQ 321 to Thailand. In a statement posted on Facebook, the airline detailed its compensation scheme, offering $10,000 (£7,800) to passengers with minor injuries and an “advance payment of $25,000” for those more severely affected, to facilitate immediate needs.

The turbulence claimed the life of a 73-year-old British passenger and left dozens injured, with injuries ranging from spinal cord and head traumas to muscular injuries. The affected were treated at a Bangkok hospital, where the airline has made arrangements to assist passengers and their families, including compensation for delays as per European Union or United Kingdom regulations.

Further to the compensation for injuries, Singapore Airlines also committed to a full fare refund for all 211 passengers on board the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, irrespective of whether they sustained injuries. Additionally, all passengers received S$1,000 ($739; £580) to cover immediate expenses, a gesture underscoring the airline’s response to the crisis.

This unfortunate event has highlighted the importance of seatbelt usage during flights, as the airline industry generally permits passengers to unbuckle during normal cruising conditions. The ongoing investigation into the incident continues to develop, with initial reports indicating that the aircraft experienced rapid altitude changes, plummeting approximately 178ft (54m) within just 4.6 seconds, leading to chaos and injury as unbelted passengers and crew were thrust against the cabin structure.

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