I’ve made it pretty clear that I have a deep love for any and all flight-related coffee, especially that whole situation Alaska Airlines has going on right now. Good or bad or otherwise, in the airport (not airpot, but that is good too) or a mile high, coffee ranks pretty highly on my list of travel necessities. But it is nonetheless an extremely hot liquid being hurtled through space at 500mph, and as such, it comes with some risk. And now, two airlines find themselves in proverbial hot water after spilling coffee on passengers.
In the last week alone, both American Airlines and and Germany’s Lufthansa have both experienced alleged coffee spilling incidents come to light. First up is American, who according to TMZ, is being sued by a passenger named George Latorre after he claims a flight attendant spilled scalding hot coffee on him. On a flight from Vietnam to New York earlier this month, Latorre claims negligence on the part of the flight attendant led to hot coffee being spilled on his upper arm, causing second-degree burns, blistering, peeling, and bleeding. The burn was so bad, per the lawsuit, that it damaged Latorre’s tattoo, with his lawyer adding that “he needed to see a surgeon who specializes in burns.”
The “cosmetic deformity and scarring” may be permanent, the lawsuit states, and Latorre is suing for “extreme pain and suffering, emotional harm, mental anguish and distress.” American Airlines has yet to common.
Then, on a flight from Frankfurt to Budapest, Lufthansa passenger Jack Hayden claims he too received second-degree burns after a mid-flight coffee was spilled on him. Per Simple Flying, the 19 year old claims the incident occurred after a flight attendant placed a cup of coffee at an angle, causing it to spill on his lower body. The burns were so bad, per Hayden, that he wasn’t able to fasten his seat belt for the rest of the flight. A doctor in Budapest later confirmed the second-degree burns and gave Hayden medicine to apply throughout his trip; his burns had healed by the time he returned home to Toronto.
As recompense, Lufthansa offered him $500, which the airlines states is the “maximum amount they could offer without any medical documents or bills provided by the passenger.” There was no injury report filed onboard the flight nor any medical documentation since the burns had healed by the time he was back in Canada.
Hayden and his parents are demanding the airline take accountability as well as issue an apology for the event.
So while coffee remains one of the simpler joys of air travel, it nonetheless needs to be handled with proper respect and care. Because while drinking hot coffee is always great, wearing it less so.