I was in the aviation insurance business for over 30 years, and it is interesting to see how the aviation insurance marketplace has evolved. Early on commercial airliner crashes were devastating to the airline, and as an example look what happened to Pan Am after the Lockerbie accident - it went out of business.
This gesture by US Airways to provide cash to each passenger for lost baggage is innovative and good public relations for the airline. This follows on all of the good press surrounding their pilot "Sully", and the great job he did landing on the Hudson River.
But there is certainly more to come. One of the most difficult things for an insurance company to settle are claims of trauma. Who really know what emotional and mental effect such an incident imprints on ones mind? How do you put a dollar value on it? What is fair not only to the passengers but to the airline?
As with most things in life answers are not quick, easy and clear when dealing with complex human beings. It will be interesting to see how this event turns out from both a public relations and financial basis. I have to give the airline credit for being quick to get started establishing good relations with the passengers before they have much time to sit and wonder what will happen next.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
That's not flying, that's just falling with style.
— Woody, from the 1996 movie 'Toy Story,' regarding Buzz Lightyear.