Two People Hit By Car And Left Critically Injured After American Diverts Flight

This is a really sad and unfortunate situation. The Northeast has experienced some horrible weather over the past few days, which has had big implications for airline operations. We saw many flights get diverted, and even more flights get canceled. While the weather isn’t within airlines’ control, how they take care of their passengers (largely) is.

A passenger who was scheduled to fly American from Minneapolis to New York LaGuardia on Friday, March 2, 2018, shares the story that left two passengers who don’t speak English in a hospital in critical condition. The passenger’s version of the story is nearly 2,500 words, so I’m going to do my best to summarize it, though I’ll also share the full post below.

Here’s what I take away as the highlights of what unfolded to lead to this horrible situation:

  • An American flight that was supposed to land at New York’s LaGuardia was instead diverted to Baltimore due to bad weather
  • In Baltimore, American put passengers on a bus that was supposed to go to New York, but they provided passengers with limited information, and didn’t say where exactly the bus was going, how long the ride would take, etc.
  • Google Maps said the ride should take 4.5 hours, but 10 hours into the ride they had only moved 30 miles, so the bus turned around and headed back to Baltimore Airport; due to the weather conditions two trucks flipped over, blocking traffic
  • The person telling the story spoke Chinese, and recounts how she talked to two Chinese passengers who were visiting their son, and didn’t speak any English, so she did everything she could to help them and put them at ease
  • The bus had no bathrooms and no food, and passengers didn’t feel taken care of; initially the only bathroom stop was passengers being told they can pee on the side of the road
  • At this point (over 10 hours into the ride) the bus stopped at a McDonald’s, so passengers could use the bathroom and buy food; the passenger telling the story suggested that the Chinese couple go with her across the street to Rite Aid and/or Applebee’s, since McDonald’s was so busy
  • Next thing she knows, both of the passengers were lying in the street unconscious and covered in blood, as they had been hit by cars due to lack of visibility and bad weather
  • They were taken to the hospital, and the person telling the story went above and beyond to check up on them, hold onto their luggage, try to find their son, and more
  • American did virtually nothing to help, and eventually they offered a $500 voucher to the passenger as gratitude for how she helped the couple
  • The couple is still in the hospital, with the husband needing surgery to repair the nerves in his spine to make sure he has functional brain use, and the wife also needs surgery; both are in critical condition

There are a lot more details, so if you’re interested in reading the story, it can all be found below.

First and foremost, what an awful situation, and I hope the couple in question is able to make a speedy and full recovery. It’s tough enough to travel in a country where no one speaks the language under normal conditions (and I’m incredibly lucky to speak English, because in most countries people speak at least a little bit of English, so I never truly feel like I can’t communicate with anyone), but that’s only made much worse when things go wrong.

This is a horrible, horrible situation, and I’m still trying to process what I make of it. Is it American’s fault that the flight diverted? No. Is it American’s fault that the weather was so bad that trucks flipped and a 30 mile ride took 10 hours? No. Is it American’s fault (specifically) that the couple decided to run across the street (presumably not at a crosswalk)? No.

But at the same time, it is American’s fault that they didn’t communicate well about what passengers could expect, that they didn’t give passengers options, that they didn’t provide food & drinks, and at a minimum, it shows a lack of compassion that they didn’t do more to take care of the passengers once they were in the hospital.

At the same time, I also recognize that airline operations are incredibly, ridiculously complex. It’s a miracle that airlines function as efficiently as they do when things are going well, while things become infinitely more difficult when stuff goes wrong. The flight diverted to a non-hub, and I imagine most American employees at the airport were working on rebooking passengers on flights departing the airport. I assume phone lines were backed up, even if they increased staffing. In many ways I imagine American was maxed out in terms of what they were able to do.

That certainly doesn’t excuse an airline being negligent. But what’s unfortunate here is that I can see the series of events that led to something like this happening, and there’s not one specific thing I can point my finger at and say “this is what caused the whole situation.” Rather it’s a series of unfortunate events.

The situation is incredibly tragic, and airlines need to do better when things go wrong. What I’m not sure of is how much of this situation was caused by American’s negligence, rather than just a series of factors that lead to a very bad outcome.

What do you make of this situation?

For anyone who wants to read it, here’s the full account of what happened, per a Facebook post:

Yesterday, I was on a flight that not only did not get us to our destination but also failed to take care of its passengers. Two passengers were hit by a pick-up truck because of it. As I trekked to the hospital, I was the one bringing them their luggages. I was the one doing the translating. I was the one taking care of these passengers who were injured because American Airlines failed to take care of its passengers and neglected these two passengers especially. I was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 4664, flying from Minneapolis to LaGuardia Airport on March 2nd, 2018. Our flight, among many others, was redirected to Baltimore, where American Airlines shoved us onto buses without bathrooms or food for 9 hours and where two older Chinese passengers who spoke no English were severely wounded when let out for food and hit by a truck.

It was an early Friday morning. I had taken the light rail into the airport, which was clean, efficient, and seemed to have no warning signs of a storm to come in New York. Towards the end of our three hour flight, we were suddenly notified on the broadcast system that due to the weather conditions, we would not be attempting to land in LGA but instead in JFK because if we failed to land the first time we would have to go to Baltimore. Our attempted landing in JFK resulted in immense turbulence – passengers were breathing into their paper bags and throwing up. As we were staring down at New York below us, I felt the aircraft zoom back up and into the airspace. We were headed for Baltimore.

We landed in Baltimore, Maryland at 2:15 pm. When we landed, we were ushered off the aircraft and told to “get on buses to New York.” We were not told where these buses were, how to get to them, how long they would take, or what an alternative solution was. There was no sign of accommodation for elderly, pregnant, disabled, or non-English speaking passengers. Flights from Detroit, Minneapolis, Nashville, all over the country, were being ushered onto these buses. No one was helping any of us. When we got onto the bus, it was a fight for seats, and a fight for outlets. No one saw a single outlet. Google Maps told us the trip should take four and a half hours. This would absolutely not be the case.

About an hour into the trip, a woman ran to the front and asked the bus driver, “what do we do if we need to go to the bathroom?” He yelled, and she ran back to her seat. An hour later, we were stuck on the Interstate, he opened the bus door and several people unloaded out onto the emergency rail side of the road to pee. This was our choice of bathroom for the next ten hours.

At this time, an older Chinese couple two rows in front of me approached me. The older woman looked at me and said in Chinese, “are you Chinese?” I smiled and nodded. She looked relieved. She patted me on the shoulder, “I’m so glad there is another Chinese person here. We were so afraid we were alone.” She pulled open an A4 sheet of paper from her pocket. On it were Chinese questions with their Google Translated English approximations, “Where is taxi stand?” “How I call a taxi?” and “My gate is (__.) Please help me.” She looked at me and smiled, “I was going to ask you to help me translate how to ask him where we are going so I could ask, but since you know, you can tell me?”

For the rest of the trip, neither her nor her husband said much. They sat there for ten hours straight without using the restroom or eating anything. They spoke to me only briefly to ask me if there was any update about an ETA. They had no internet service so I kept using Google Maps to help them. No one else was helping. What were they supposed to do when they didn’t speak English? How would any other person who was not able-bodied, who was pregnant, who was a child, or with a young child supposed to handle this? How would they have gotten through it?

Ten hours into the bus ride, we had only travelled 30 miles. Two trucks had flipped over the bridge because of winds, so all the bridges were closed. We were stuck in traffic and not moving a single inch. At this point, a passenger went up to the bus driver to ask what was going on, and we were informed, by a PASSENGER that we were turning around and going back to the BWI airport at Baltimore, MD. We were not told how we would get to New York, if we would have a place to stay or anything at all. Everyone was on the phone trying to get American Airline. No one got an answer. It was not just incompetence. It was absolute negligence. Suddenly the bus turned around and stopped. We had stopped in front of a McDonald’s in a parking lot. The door opened and we were told to “get out and get food and go to the bathroom.”

The McDonald’s was packed. Everyone was running to the toilet. The wind was so strong we had a hard time seeing. There was an Applebee’s and a Shop Rite across the way. Several of us wanted to run across the way to get food. We were not told when to get back on the bus, when the bus would leave. Nothing. The Chinese couple got off the bus with me. Unable to speak any English, they followed me to the McDonald’s where the husband went to the bathroom. After I realised how packed it was, I told them we should go to the Applebee’s to get food. At the Applebee’s, the wife and I went to the bathroom, and saw how crowded it was. I told them we should go to Shop Rite to get some food, but it was so windy. The weather was so bad, they told me they were going to head back to the bus and wait for me there.

Shop Rite was closed. I was scared the bus would leave. I ran so fast I couldn’t breathe with the wind blowing in my face. As I ran across the road, I saw a truck stopped in front of a body on the ground. And then another car and then another body on the ground. There was blood. Both bodies were face down. They were an entire length of a car apart.

When I get back to the bus, they were not there. Ten minutes passed, no one came. Fifteen passed. Then twenty. I was beginning to feel nauseous. The bus driver got up and said, “does anyone think anyone is missing?” There was no roll call. I immediately ran up to the driver and said, “there are two passengers missing. I think… I think they might be the two people who were run over there. By the car. Can I go look?” The door opened, and I ran down and sprinted over to where all the ambulances and police cars were. The bodies had been taken away. I asked the police, “was the couple an elderly Chinese couple who did not speak English?” The police nodded, “do you know anything about them?”

I told them everything I knew. I told them the last person the couple called on their cell phone was their son in New York who they were visiting. I gave the cop my number and told him to call me for anything, and to let me know if he got any news about them. When I ran back to the bus, I was in hysterics. I was crying and blurted out the news. The bus was confused, the bus driver was shocked. But then we left. No one contacted American Airlines. The bus just picked up and drove away, back to the BWI airport. I called the hospitals in Baltimore. I finally got in contact with Bayview hospital where I tracked the couple down.

When we got back to the airport, no one took care of their belongings. I picked up the backpack and carry on they had on the bus. When we got off, their checked baggage was just left on the sidewalk. No one took care of it, so I did. I took all of their belongings along with mine and went into the airport where I tried for fifteen minutes to tell someone, “two of your passengers were run over by a truck.”

When I finally got a counter and told them what had happened, I was ushered secretly to a back room that was locked by a pin. I told them to call Bayview. I told them the passengers’ last name. I told him they only spoke Chinese and where the accident was. I told him I had all their luggages and would be willing to take it to them because AA clearly would not take care of anything. I was told I would be given a ride to the hospital but would have no way back. I was told they had an interpreter at the hospital present. I was told to take a train instead of a flight out.

I was put onto a taxi to go to the hospital. Midway through the ride, I was told by the cab driver, Raphael, that he was not given money for toll, so he would not be able to go to the hospital or pick me up. He stopped on the side of the highway and spent 20 minutes calling the airport and his boss for toll money. I had just lost my wallet and had nothing to give. But how could an airline leave a passenger stranded when they were just trying to help when no one in AA was helping at all?

I was told I would have 30 minutes at the hospital. When I finally located the two passengers, they were in separate rooms in the hospital ER unit. There was no interpreter. There was no one helping. When I got into the room, the husband kept asking, “where is my wife? Where is my wife?” He had been told nothing about his conditions or where his wife was or how he was doing. There was no one giving him any information whatsoever. They had not even identified him. I spent the next 40 minutes translating for the doctors and the nurses. Telling them where the pain was for him and asking about both of their injuries. The husband had suffered severe fractures to his spine and neck and the wife had been hit straight in the head and was unconscious. She was going to need eye surgery among other procedures.

I left them their belongings, left my phone number as the primary contact, and told them to call me if they needed any help with translation or anything. American Airlines had not contacted them or sent anyone. When I left, the wife was covered in blood and unconscious. The husband asked me to stay, he said he had no relatives nearby and would really appreciate the help because he really couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. I called the son who told me he was driving on the way from New York. He asked me for any information I had because he was told by the hospital he had to prove his identity and that he was their son to get any information from them.

I gave him my number to call for anything he might need and left at around 4 in the morning to go back to Baltimore. On my way back there, the cop who I had spoken to at the crime scene called me. He told me they tried to unlock their phone but could not do so and so tried to call AA. American Airlines did not pick up at all and so he spent 45 minutes trying to call every Chinese consulate he could get ahold of before he finally spoke to someone at the San Francisco Chinese consulate who contacted the embassy who found their son. He told me that little bit of information I gave them was immensely helpful because they had no knowledge of who they were at all. American Airlines had told them nothing and had not even attempted to locate them. Why would they have? They had no idea where their passengers were.

I was given a place to stay and told to find my way back to the airport in the morning where I had to buy a train ticket out. All of the trains were sold out. I slept for three hours on and off until I had to wake up to the go to the train station. When I got there, all the trains had been cancelled or delayed. I didn’t have any money and had to find my way back to the airport where I was told I could not get on a flight back because it was all packed.

I finally got back to New York city late this afternoon. After most of us had been told to sleep in the airport on the floor and most travel plans were cancelled. I was not contacted by AA at all. I called Bayview and the couples’ son several times in the past 24 hours, and have since filed a complaint. About an hour ago, I was contacted by AA on the phone. I was offered a “$500 gift voucher from American Airlines as a symbol of our gratitude.” I was told they would like to improve for future situations. I was told they were “doing what they could.”

That is bullshit. AA did absolutely nothing. They’ve tried to silence me and pay me off. They’ve tried to say they were helping with interpreters and personnel and communication but they’ve not only been non-communicative but negligent, ignorant, and disgustingly irresponsible.

The last I heard, the husband is in surgery to try and repair the nerves in his spine to make sure he has functional brain use. They are not sure if he will. The wife was still in surgery and both are in critical condition. American Airlines is liable. On the phone last night, the son asked me, “I don’t know if it was the fault of the truck driver or the airline, but I might need to talk to you more soon.” I said to him before he finished speaking, “It was the airline. You have to take legal action. American Airlines is the one who has to pay.” And a $500 voucher will do nothing to silence me.

I am not sharing this to gain sympathy or compliments. But I want more people to know about this. I want more people to know about what American Airlines did not do and ignored. And I want this family to receive the compensation and support they need and deserve at this time, especially if and when they take legal action and need all the help they can get.

(Tip of the hat to Leo & Shang)

Comments

  1. > it is American’s fault that they didn’t communicate well

    It’s like asking is it a chimpanzee’s fault that it can’t recognize itself in the mirror? It’s unfortunate but I think we’ve all come to realize that as an operation the carrier will only deliver so much.

    I’m just glad the airlines have been able to make sure their planes fly safely. Expecting anything beyond that is setting one’s self up for disappointment.

  2. AA should have probably given passengers the option of staying at a hotel in BWI overnight, and fly them out the next day. If they didn’t offer that option then some blame would shift to them. It was a bad flying and driving day. They should have known this.

  3. This shows that you are on your own and should be prepared. AA and the bus company won’t help you.

    First of all, try not to get hit by a car. There was some lack of judgment here. It can be trying to wait 5 minutes to cross but eventually, most streets can be crossed. If not, then McDonalds.

    Second, there should be better communication, like asking the bus driver when he will leave and trying to keep an eye out for him/her.

    Third, it is the bus driver who should take count and try to know if someone is missing as well as announce ahead of time the McDonald’s departure time.

    The Good Samaritan didn’t seem to prioritize things, like calling for an ambulance, but someone else did. Still, that person going to the hospital is certainly a sign of compassion.

    When 2 people are traveling, they have an advantage over one. One could try to order at McDonalds while the other goes to Applebee’s. Then one calls the other when they are about to order.

    Another thing is that I keep a 3×5 sheet of paper folded to credit card size that has my medical history so the hospital can read it. It says my name, contact information, date of birth, medical problems, previous surgery, medication, any allergies to medication. My doctor told me that this information is helpful.

  4. Ummm is there like a news article about this or are we taking Facebook posts from random people (“Stefani” lol designer spelling of designer name) as authoritative now?

  5. Luckily, the Good Samaritan didn’t steal their luggage and run away.

    While it would be nice to demand a hotel and a flight the next day, AA would almost certainly deny a hotel and it might take the most articulate lawyer to get a flight instead of a bus that was already chartered.

  6. What an awful tragedy.

    I’m going to make a blanket statement, which is hard to swallow for most of us Americans. The entire experience of air travel in U.S sucks, worst than third world country. For all the U.S airlines the bottom line is the almighty dollar.

    All they need to do is learn from TK/EK/EY/QR

    I for one will never use U.S airlines for international flights.

    Air travel within continental U.S sucks big time.

  7. @anon most bloggers get all their content from google alerts. U can be alerted to any news article related to any subject

  8. Yeah. Just a strange story all around, assuming that it’s true. I’ve never heard of an airline helping with bus tickets. Seems more likely that the people took it upon themselves to get there by bus. AIrlines ypically offer a hotel and the next flight out.

  9. Read the last paragraph of the post/story. Legal action? The two passengers are at fault for not crossing at a crosswalk. If there is a dispute, perhaps the pickup truck driver is at fault.

    The bus company is potentially liable for lost luggage, but the Good Samaritan helped prevent luggage theft.

    AA, if notified and if notified of next of kin (which is optional when making the reservation) should have a responsibility to notify the son but that’s it.

    As far as providing services during a diversion, that is AA’s responsibility. Maybe something to fault but nothing shows that it is worthy of a lawsuit.

  10. @Dan, airlines do charter buses. I once took a bus that an airline chartered to take the place of a cancelled flight that was about 140 miles in length.

  11. Awful situation and I hope the couple are ok. But if they are Chinese nationals they won’t have much of a case against American Airlines in a court of law. They could site reciprocity. Good luck ever filing an injury lawsuit in the people’s republic of china.

    I saw an Emirates A380 diverted to Toronto Pearson instead of JFK.

  12. I’m not sure how you could blame AA. It’s common to do the last bit by bus in case of diversions. That two passengers died is tragic but ultimately was an accident.

    The only people that could be responsible would be the individuals directly involved in the accident (i.e. the pedestrians and the driver(s)).

  13. Friday was a tough day in Maryland. Large number of people without power, travel delays, and, I’m guessing here, limited hotel rooms. I know several people who checked into hotels due to lack of electricity at home.

    Rough story and it’s tough when you don’t know the language.

    Btw no one around here calls it Baltimore Airport. BWI is the common short name. The full name is BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. (BWI is Baltimore Washington International).

  14. This incident occurred in the United States and the law in effect is the US law. I hope their son finds a good lawyer and take American airlines to the cleaners.

  15. My guess is that it happened at Aberdeen, MD, which is 35 miles from downtown Baltimore. There’s an Applebee’s, McDonalds, and Shoprite. Applebee’s is the least common so looking there first, there is one at Campbell Blvd. in Nottingham, MD and Eastpoint Mall but no Shoprite those locations.

    Looking at Google Maps, there is a crosswalk to get to Walgreens, which has some food. The crosswalk to Applebee’s requires backward trekking and there is no crosswalk on a more direct path to Shoprite or Applebee’s. The street to Chick Fil-A is even wider and probably hard to cross.

    If it was so windy that it was difficult to walk, then it may have been hazardous to cross the street.

    Too bad they did not try Walgreens for some cookies, nuts, chips, sardines, etc. or just waited at McDonalds.

  16. D3KingAmerican – Don’t be so ridiculous. The law applies to everyone – you aren’t denied protections just because your home country may not have the same…

    Not that I see how anyone has broken the law here (other than, technically, jay walking), or has even done anything morally wrong.

  17. “What I’m not sure of is how much of this situation was caused by American’s negligence, rather than just a series of factors that lead to a very bad outcome.”

    A court of law will determine that soon enough…

  18. So true d3 king
    Try this in China
    And you would be locked away in some goolag in north Korea.

  19. Upon careful thought, many parties are to blame, the ones listed first being the most to blame.

    1. 2 injured passengers for not taking the crosswalk
    2. drivers. It is possible they are #1 at fault. What is unusual is that the two were hit by different cars.
    3. bus company. Possible that they were driving in known risky situations or maybe it surprised many drivers. Poor service and poor control of baggage.
    4. AA. Possible inadequate notification of son, if they had his phone number

    X. Police who tried to call the embassy and several consulates. Not to blame. Good effort.
    X. Good Samaritan. Didn’t help the two on the street but maybe there was fear of missing the bus. Did display effort to safeguard luggage and go to the hospital. There, that person provided comfort and a report to the son but did not have to (or was permitted to) make any medical decisions.

    Thanks for the interesting post. I will cross the street with care in the future.

  20. Remove all the noise and dissect this down to the very core, this was a traffic accident. The parties that should be involved and responsible are the victims, and the driver of the vehicle that hit them. Sympathies to the victims in this sad sad story.

  21. Even on a good day, you don’t have a bus going from MD -> NY without a bathroom on board and at least one stop at a travel plaza. I’m sure they were pressing all buses into service, but the lack of bathroom facilities is the biggest thing I see that’s on AA. They also could have provided snacks for the bus. If there had been a toilet and a couple bags of chips you wouldn’t have had the crush of passengers that led to them needing to cross a major road in dangerous conditions. Kudos to the good samaritan for looking out for their luggage and making sure the son was able to find them.

  22. @Lucky Your blog moves closer and closer each day to Gary’s. Resist the temptation.
    @Jackson thank you

  23. It is possible maybe that the Good Samaritan has potential liability as well as many other individuals and entities. The Good Samaritan may possibly be viewed as leading the passengers away from Macdonalds to Drugstore and another restaurant that required crossing a street in low visibility and thus leading them into a dangerous situation and not safeguarding them. Possible Assumption of risk by Good Samaritan too? But lots of possible liability may perhaps be present for many persons and entities. Perhaps the hurt passengers themselves (contributory negligence), bus driver and company, airline, car driver who struck them, and the Good Samaritan? Your article is to stir up conversation. Very sad situation and possibly lots of liability issues for many. Who knows at this point but appears to be situation with legal issues.

  24. I think AA lacked sufficient compassion in their unwillingness to help.

    They could have and should have, done much more.

  25. This reminds me of my law school days all over again. I do not practice in aviation law, so this is hardly a definitive legal opinion.

    This would hinge on two factors from my view. Was AA responsible for the events following a diversion – that is, the accommodations. If so, then they and the bus company might very well be held jointly liable, although AA would have a likely legal right of subrogation (a right to recover any cost and payouts) against the bus company. It is possible they may be held responsible even if doing these gestures voluntarily.

    However, the critical question is will be whether the outcome was reasonably foreseeable. My answer is no. And, even if it was negligence, I would imagine the state in which this occurred would give rise to contributory negligence. Ultimately, this points to the two visitors as likely a majority at fault, and perhaps all.

    But what it ultimately points to is less about the legal answer or that of a jury, but perhaps more so where social media takes this. I’ll explain:

    I hate to be mean, but that is a risk of traveling to a foreign country. It is also unreasonable that AA would have staff to speak all languages and be prepared for ANY and ALL contingencies. Irrespective of ticket prices, AA can’t remain a viable company if we held them to such standard as to be prepared for every possible contingency.

    My personal take is that we continue to be a society of blame. And, when the outcome is tragic like this, I think we are more likely to dig deep to blame a someone else (a human), or better yet, a corporation (a non-human). United used airport “police” to remove a man from a flight. They had no legal option but to use the municipally trained and hired staff to do the job. Ultimately, United paid out such a sufficient amount of money, the victim was willing to drop all charges against not only United, but also the municipal employees. Given the media attention, I am guessing the man ended up in a better than reasonable ($) outcome. Certainly here, regardless of the legal or even any ethical belief, AA may get drug into the same situation – a situation which continually erodes legal and ethical standards. But, that is what the social media uproar can bring about. We shall see.

    I know some will read my comments and think I am without sympathy. I am deeply sympathetic. I just don’t translate my sympathy into blaming someone “else.” And, two wrongs still don’t make a right.

    I have been to mainland China many times. I am not very certain that these people would have received better treatment in China had they been hit in the middle of such a storm should such situation exist in (mainland) China.

  26. The mark of a good corporation is being prepared for the inevitable. In addition, engagement and efficient resolution of crises define the best companies in the world. Too many airlines fail to meet this mark due to the uncontrollable growth and lack of effective staff training associated with the humongous machines they have become. The major US airlines display exactly what is wrong with the industry – so much so that I often use their example in my classes as case studies for my MBA students.

  27. Jesus Christ, you people have so many goddamn opinions. The two people who got hit and are in the hospital. That’s a fact. You are all talking about who to blame and who’s fault is it. You weren’t there, you didn’t get hit, you didn’t have to deal with hours and hours of no food and bathroom, so please think before you speak. It is clear that AA is responsible, because these people wouldn’t have to made a decision that put them in danger in the first place if they weren’t forced to Baltimore. I think it is a pretty obvious opinion from the general public that American Airlines is a terrible company that couldn’t care less. Thank god the good samaritan was there, or else who would have told their son that they were in the hospital? Who would have gotten their luggage? You are criticizing for the things they could have done, but no one else helped the couple. No one else gave a crap. If you were in that situation, there is almost a 99% chance, you wouldn’t have cared either. You would have only tried to help yourself get to safety. Stop criticizing the people that didn’t create the situation. American Airlines forced everyone into this situation, didn’t take notice even when someone brought it up and still couldn’t care less. Also, are you seriously criticizing the couple? I don’t think they planned to be in accident, also they were only taking a short flight to visit their son, whom speaks English. They shouldn’t be responsible for preparing themselves to be hit in a car accident. You are only saying this, because it already happened. I don’t think most of America ever prepares to be in the car accident. This is AA’s responsibility for their customers (also human decency?) So shut up and focus on the real issue here – American Airlines is a lying, cheating and uncaring company. We need real attention to change this.

  28. Crazy story, I was actually tracking this flight and thought Baltimore was an awfully far away place to diver to especially since other flights were diverting to Pittsburgh.

  29. @mike i’m sorry, but are you saying we should have less people who want to help strangers? Not that there any people who are willing to help others when they have their own trouble? This kind person took the time out of their day to help out people are almost DEAD. But this world is doomed anyways right, might as well let people die and not give a crap about others?

  30. This is a sad story and I totally sympathized the Chinese couple. I hope they will recover and get better soon. They were properly getting to NY to celebrate Yuan Xiao (15th day of CNY) with their son and to have this accident happened, it’s truly unfortunate.
    I don’t think there’s a chance of them winning the legal case of their accident if they truly decide to press on. They followed the advice of another passenger to cross the road to get to another place. It’s a road accident of them crossing, so AA won’t be liable. There’s many areas AA need to improve on in handling this transfer situation from Baltimore to NY, however how much will they be willing to listen to their customers and if they really care? We all knew the answer.
    As there’s more and more Chinese travelers now, many still doesn’t know any English, in situations if I see any Chinese having trouble, I will also try to help translating for them.

  31. @ANON, you speak with such authority regarding (and attacking) everyone … but yourself. True, we were not there. But guess what…neither were you!.

    Let’s face it, many (sometimes countless) triggering events will prevent a single outcome. But that does not make it “responsible.” Might you blame them for choosing to travel? How far back should we go? Maybe we should blame God for the weather…or the weather forecast (meteorologist) that might have been incorrect. Yes, let’s hold him responsible. After all, he has more expertise on the weather than AA does. While at it, let’s blame the municipality for not closing the airport and preventing the take off. But wait, the last triggering event was them – they choose to cross the street! The last pivotal events were them, the weather, and the motorist that hit them. Everything else is an extenuating circumstance or excuse.

    Just how far will you take blaming someone else, particularly for a situation which you have no vested interest. AA no more planned for them to be in an accident walking across the street any more than you did.

    It’s merely my opinion, we (me included) just have a really tough time taking personal responsibility. It’s sad that both gun control advocates and those holding firm on their 2nd amendment rights point to childhood upbringing and values as the core problem today. Yet, as a group of adults, we can’t see clearly either.

  32. @JeffShilling Someone who brings about gun control on an article that has nothing to do with it, is exactly my “friend”. (The quotation is to indicate me bring ironic) Also the airline should be prepared for this, they have encountered multiple snowstorms/natural weather that leads them to put passengers on the bus. Also, I don’t think you need to be prepared to make sure someone picks up the phone for customer service or to react when you find out that your customer are in the hospital or got hit. I don’t think you are seeing the picture here as I do. People weren’t getting properly treated, people got hit due to AA’s inability to provide information or service for food and bathrooms (these are essential human needs by the way). Also oh, yeah they got hit by crossing the street, you mean when they were trying to find food because they haven’t eaten all day! What a terrible decision! I’m pretty sure humans make decisions that don’t make sense when they are in danger or are in need of something. These people haven’t eaten for hours and were tired, they wanted to get food but also want to make sure they have transportation to get where they should be. Now, I’m not in their position at the moment, but at least I’m trying to sympathize with the smaller people rather than the big heartless corporation. I think there are little personal responsibility in the incident, but at the end of the day, who created this whole mess and who didn’t want to step up when they should have?

  33. When I first clicked on the link after seeing your title, I expected to see a story about how American diverted a plane that somehow flew into the path of cars, causing the cars to crash…

    Then I open the link and read the story. The situation is tragic and unfortunate, but the car accident seems like a total freak accident that could happen to any traveler in any country. It had nothing to do with AA’s diversion and everything to do with the bad conditions in the Northeast. The weather on Friday was some of the worst weather I’ve ever seen in New York, which by itself makes a dangerous situation. Should AA have been clearer about the bus trip? Maybe, but bus trips aren’t glamorous and traffic made travel treacherous in general. Amtrak wasn’t running trains on Friday either.

    AA’s mistake may have been to attempt to transport customers at all; they should have provided hotels in Baltimore, or simply said that due to weather flights were cancelled. I’ve often argued that Airlines should reroute passengers to trains and buses when possible, but conditions were just too dangerous. I don’t know how much hand holding American could have done for the travelers; in a strange country with life threatening weather and where you don’t speak the language, the best option may just to be to find shelter.

  34. I am Chinese and while I feel for this couple, I must say that they took it upon themselves to cross the road and put themselves at risk. The airline has already organized a shuttle and likely “safely” parked at a McDonalds to get food, then continue on.

    This is similar as if an airplane successfully docked at the gate, and then a couple decided to go rogue and not go through the normal exit path, and suddenly go through another exit path and fell down the stairs onto the tarmac, critically injuring themselves.

    As horrible as this sounds, I would fault the person who told them to even cross the street. That led them to their peril as it was highly risky crossing the street in such weather.

    I do not think AA is at fault.

  35. So many experts!
    One issue is the language issue. I would expect that any airline have staff qualified in the language of every country the flight involved. In this case it was a domestic US flight so the airline should not be expected to have any other language qualified representatives. I travel throughout Europe and I can handle the basics in all germanic and romance languages as well as English.

  36. ANON – American didn’t “create” the situation. Walking down streets on Friday were the windiest conditions I have seen in New York. If they didn’t, all Airlines should have just cancelled flights on Friday, and all interstate travel should have been paused. The conditions were harsh.

  37. At least one reassuring thing, the insurance of the driver’s vehicles will cover all the medical care needed by the couple. (Or if they were uninsured, the drivers will be responsible)

  38. Wow, so does anyone else think @ANON is The Good Samaritan? The writing style and grammatical issues are identical to what’s written in story in italics above.

    Anyway, I agree with what someone else said above on the bus ride. MD—>NY is over 4 hours on a good day, let alone what it would be in a Nor’Easter. AA is negligent for not ensuring the bus had bathrooms. Think about it this way, if a flight doesn’t have a working bathroom, regardless of how long the flight is, the plane is swapped out. I’ve also heard of many stories where the bathrooms go out of service, and the plane makes an emergency landing. Just happened recently on a flight to Seattle I believe, where it landed in Idaho I think.

    Because there were no bathrooms, passengers had to exit the bus to relieve themselves, and also get food, although airlines aren’t required to give you food really. Personally I don’t think the couple should have crossed the street and gone to another restaurant, especially when they aren’t familiar with the area, the weather is bad and they don’t speak English.

    So taking emotion out of this, there is culpability to go around for everyone. AA isn’t going to go out of their way to take care of passengers the way the Good Samaritan is expecting. That is just pipe dreams. But in my opinion, this went downhill the minute they stepped on a bus without bathroom access. It spiraled from there.

    And ultimately, AA will likely squeeze out of this unharmed, as they usually do. The question is, is that fair? There are many ways to look at this. And as the ‘Good Samaritan’ alludes to above, opinions are like a**holes…

  39. The more I look at Google maps and the street view, the more I see a hazardous street crossing. Unless you walk away from Applebees to cross the street, there is no crosswalk. There are 5 lanes that one must walk through. It was dark, maybe around 11 pm (9 hours after 2:15 pm). It was blowing wind or wind and snow. It appears that each person was hit by a different vehicle. This suggests either bad luck or bad crossing behavior because it’s more likely that only one person would be struck.

    It also shows a lack of cultural knowledge. If they are afraid the bus will leave without them, going to Applebee’s, where it’s a slower service sit down restaurant, is more risky than fast food McDonalds.

  40. @Jim, it might make the news if one of the passengers dies. If that’s the criteria, I hope it doesn’t make the news criteria. I have every reason to believe the FB post. It’s written by an actress.

  41. My god, how can an entire league of people here, humans at heart, argue liability amidst a really sad and tragic mishap. It’s no wonder AA has little in the way of empathy and values – or just offering a basic healing hand. How can they amidst our own society that can only argue who is liable for what? This is disgusting. And many of you should be disgusted at yourselves.

  42. First of all, this whole tragedy is absolutely true, and has attracted quite significant attention in American Chinese forums. And both of the victims are legally visitors here to visit their son.
    Second, indeed it is hard to argue that whether the airline should take direct responsibility for this tragedy legally, but they can, and they should, definitely do better than this. In chaos situations like this, older people with disability or language issues really need help but clearly AA didn’t provide enough help to them.

  43. A terrible circumstance and a wonderful Good Samaritan doing her best, above and beyond the call of duty.

    One takeaway – if traveling in a major storm and the unexpected happens, SHELTER IN PLACE. Refuse any offer for continuation of your journey by a third-party.

    In an ideal world, all travel tickets would include the price of travel insurance, including support services like translation.

  44. What a terrible tragedy and I do hope these poor folks make a speedy recovery. With that said (and this is something increasingly devoid in modern society), you need to take responsibility for yourself and your actions. If you’ve crossed the road without looking, or crossing in a dangerous place, or in dangerous circumstances, the only person you can blame if something goes wrong is yourself.

  45. I have very little sympathy for this couple, and none for the good samaritan. The weather last week in the NE was horrendous. I am 6’3 and 225 and was nearly knocked over by the wind multiple times. Such extreme weather conditions are hardly unique to America. I have traveled to China multiple times and been in sand/smog conditions in cities where I could not see the ground from my low-floor hotel room window, or across the street from the front door. In those conditions, I exercised extreme caution to say the least. Here we have a situation where two people decide to cross a street, apparently without a traffic light, in horrible weather. How in the world is this AA’s fault? The bus took them to a McDonalds which apparently was a safe option for food and toilets. Do we have any indication that the bus wouldn’t wait until everyone was ready to go? I was diverted from DCA to Norfolk by AA some years back; they hired a bus for all of us, we stopped for food somewhere on I-95, and the driver waited until everyone had a chance to stock up before getting back on the road.

    And while the Chinese couple are not to blame for the “advice” of the good samaritan (I would have no idea in China whether a restaurant was fast food or table service), what kind of idiot recommends crossing a busy street in bad weather to get food more quickly from a full service restaurant? Particularly to people who are from another country and won’t necessarily have the ability to evaluate the option independently (I’d say no to such a ridiculous idea immediately).

    The airlines are everyone’s favorite whipping post, and often deservedly so, but the idea that American bears liability for this series of events is ludicrous.

    What is truly tragic is that this Chinese couple is about to receive a bill from an American hospital. That’s the real crime here.

  46. Hi Lucky,

    I live in the Baltimore area and I can tell you that a story like this would be all over the local news. I have not heard a thing about this unfortunate circumstance, if true. Are there other sources for this story? I am surprised you would publish this without verifying its credibility first.

  47. @john I agree, that’s why I posted earlier to ask for more verification. Here’s another Twitter account, listing all highway incidents in MD: https://twitter.com/md511state?lang=en

    Does anyone know what road this occurred on, and what city/county? MD is generally pretty good about publicizing incidents, so that’s why I find it odd we don’t see any official notice about this.

  48. @Jim, just above, my guess is that it happened at Applebee’s, 991 Beards Hill Road, Aberdeen, Maryland. There’s a ShopRite immediately north and a McDonald’s across the street to the west.

    @Contrarian, about 3 posts up, I do not blame the Good Samaritan and read how she helped quite a bit. However, her advice is downright bad to cross the street not in a crosswalk (there are no crosswalks from McDonald’s to Applebee’s unless you take a roundabout way south then east then north) to visit a slow sit down restaurant when there is no indication on when the bus will leave.

  49. I appreciate the original poster who’s nice enough to help the old couple who don’t speak the langugae here. It’s lucky they run into her. At the same time, some of the commenters with racist commentary such as them been illegal, or they would be prisoned in China, etc should really feel ashamed of themselves. Two people are lying in the hospital and that’s the first thing pop into your mind. How delusional you are to act like that. For anyone who may not have the context, traveling to another country for the first time when you are in your 60/70s, and not speaking their language at all is a super overwhelming experience, I understand there are lots of pro travelers here, and they be well qualified to handle the situation. But that’s different when this is your first time traveling internationally, and you trusted the airline will get your there safely. From what I can tell, this couple handled the situation best they could. It’s an unfortunate incident, and it’s best to be left for the judges to decide who’s responsibility it is. But let’s just try to relate to the people who are in danger, and hope they have a speedy recovery.

  50. Just a note on a specific issue: at this point almost all hospitals have contracts for translation services which are supposedly immediately available via Skype and Skype-similar modes.
    Now, it may take some doing to galvanize a hospital staff — super-conditioned to fear legal issues — but those services are broadly advertised now. In a similar situation, it may be useful to contact a hospital and ask if they will undertake contacting their translation services for assistance.
    Btw, one upshot of this spread of translation services is that some exotic languages are sometimes available, Navajo, Xhosa, etc.

  51. Horrible story and I hope the couple do ok. Here is the ‘official statement’ from AA –

    “To recap our conversation, two of American’s customers were involved in an accident while being transported by bus from Baltimore to New York last Friday.

    “We deployed specially trained members of our CARE Team to assist the couple and their son, whom they were headed to visit. Our number one priority is making sure that the family has the support and care they need at a difficult time. We wish the couple a full and speedy recovery.

    “The couple’s flight was diverted from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Baltimore due to weather conditions in New York. We opted to transport our affected passengers via bus to New York to get them to their final destination.

    “Again, our number one priority is making sure that the family has the support and care they need at a difficult time.”

  52. The site just erased a lengthy tirade before it posted, so the Reader’s Digest version is that the claim that AA is responsible for two people jaywalking and getting hit in the roadway 12 hours after getting off a flight is ludicrous.

    I would suspect the author of that horribly written post needed therapy on her arm after spending so much time and energy patting herself on the back.

    To ensure the passengers survived the flight, it was diverted to another airport (shame on AA for doing what was necessary to keep them alive). They are so inconsiderate to their customers that they canceled over 4000 flights that day. Such a bad corporation – forfeiting so much revenue just because people could die otherwise. Once everyone was safely on the ground, there was undoubtedly a shortage of accommodations available, as multiple thousands of people were affected by the storm. A bus with a bathroom would have been more ideal, but again, all resources were strained by the impact of the storm. Trouble reaching them on the phone? Well, duh, thousands of people calling at the same time can overwhelm any system or organization. If 2 people call you, one won’t get through.

    While her intent is obvious by being overly dramatic, like “shoving” them on buses when physical assault didn’t happen, “fighting for seats” when there is one for each person, and “fight for outlets”. Why would anyone fight for an outlet that she said doesn’t even exist? And she had to “trek” to hospital. Who treks in a taxi? Don’t you just sit there and get driven?

    This “Good Samaritan” is so compassionate that she didn’t hesitate to run past two people laying, bleeding in the road and didn’t even bother to call 911. It seems quite likely that her actions were less about being a Good Samaritan and more about being a Guilt Samaritan.

    She rants about how AA didn’t care for the passengers’ needs, as if they were supposed to reach out individually to each of the 8000 or so of the affected passengers to see if they had any special needs. She claimed responsibility for two people and both were hit by vehicles and left in critical condition. Not a particularly strong position from which to be critical. She couldn’t even keep track of her wallet.

    How far back should this go to determine fault? Apparently, just until you find some deep pockets. The couple that was hit shouldn’t be blamed – all they did was cross the street illegally and get hit by traffic. So, definitely they can’t held responsible. Not the Good Samaritan that put them at risk by encouraging them to cross the road after a bus driver dropped them safely right in front of a place to use a restroom and get food. No point in suing her – she doesn’t even know where her wallet is. The bus driver? Shallow pockets, too. AA! They have lots of money and will probably give me a bunch of money just to go away. Bingo! But why stop there. Why not blame the son – he could’ve gone to see his parents in his homeland, which is the custom for CNY. Maybe blame the victims’ parents – if they didn’t have unprotected sex, the victims wouldn’t even exist. But fault and responsibility aren’t the real goal – it’s just about a quick buck.

    I’m not lacking in compassion for the couple that was injured. I’ve been hit by a car and was lucky to survive, so I can tell you from personal experience that it sucks. I was much younger at the time than this couple is, so their recovery is going to be even longer and more painful. But this long diatribe appears to be nothing more than an attempt to cover up her culpability and deal with the guilt she feels for being the one that put the couple in harm’s way She was the one that told them to leave the safety of McDonalds and cross the street. The blame is on her for giving bad advice and them for jaywalking. It is not AAs responsibility to advise the couple to ignore her flawed advice or to escort them to the crosswalk.

  53. Contrarian: “What is truly tragic is that this Chinese couple is about to receive a bill from an American hospital. That’s the real crime here.”

    Not necessarily so. Responsible travelers, especially seniors, should be sensible enough to purchase travel insurance. It’s cheap peace-of-mind when venturing to distant places and covers theft and property loss, medical expenses, trip cancellations and even the cost of shipping a body home.

    No, I’m not an insurance agent, but I do travel and always hope that the money I spend on insurance is wasted.

  54. Victims have travel insurance, their daughter in law posted in a Chinese forum indicating that they have travel insurance. They are seeking advices and looking for lawyers to sue American Airlines

  55. Jack Lemmon made a film in the 1970s about a similar situation.

    Let’s face the fact more more stress leads to poorer decisions. Cancellation causes both passengers and airline personnel to make bad decisions. That is why there are crosswalks for pedestrians and procedures for handling cancellations and rebooking passengers.

    Is this horrible situation American Airlines’ fault? No. American Airlines did not commit gross negligence. However, you do have to suspect that all airlines are looking at the odds and they have come to the conclusion that they can frequently push passengers beyond their limits and usually get away with it.

    By the way, I suffered a cancellation with Air France. The 7-hour direct flight to New York turned into a 18-hour flight with a “running” connection in London. My wife almost lost her purse and another victim of this Air France cancellation actually fainted over the Atlantic on the substitute Virgin Atlantic flight. Was Air France concerned about these inconveniences? Of course, not. Their interest was pulling the A388 for New York and sending it on the more important flight to Shanghai.

    The moral of all this is that airlines do not care until the bad publicity affects the bottom-line or image of the company.

  56. The title of this article should be, “who can we Blame for Mother Nature” when the is severe weather, an airline, a bus company should not be looked at to blame. Mother Nature is out of our control, even out of corporate control. Maybe the passengers should have waited at the airport, out of the sever weather! And after the weather passed, the airline would have a flight that would get all passengers where they were going. Common sense would be to wait until the weather passed! Airlines are not responsible for hotels or food when Mother Nature is the reason for delays or deversions. Mother Nature is not anyone fault. If people would use common sense and stop looking to sue and blame, this world would be a better place! God Bless this couple and all involved.

  57. This was Republic Airlines. And it was a small airplane. American Airlines will always offer a flight to get passengers where they are going after a flight diverts. Passengers just have to be patient and wait until the bad weather passes! One purchases a plane ticket from point A to point B, that is all that the purchased ticket gets you. No one is to blame except the one that made the decision to cross a street when a car is also crossing. Wake up people and take responsibility for yourselves!

  58. @Derek

    Derek says:
    March 4, 2018 at 6:20 pm
    Luckily, the Good Samaritan didn’t steal their luggage and run away.

    is this how you make a living by stealing luggage, running away. No strange why this idea comes to you first.

  59. @H Xu. Stolen luggage is what happened to someone I know that visited mainland China. The kid ran away with the woman’s purse. On the other hand, the Good Samaritan is not from China even though she speaks Chinese. She is from Hong Kong, which has a better reputation for honesty.

    Luggage theft is very common. If you don’t pick up your luggage at an airport, there is a chance (not that high but not zero) that your luggage will be stolen.

    Looking at this several days later, it is very tragic that the elderly couple were hit by a truck. From a practical standpoint, you want to avoid getting hit at all cost. That might mean not running across the street and using the crosswalk. They probably did not use the crosswalk because the nearest crosswalk is out of the way and far away according to Google Maps.

    The Good Samaritan should not be legally at fault but her poor judgment led to accident. It is very likely that she did not use the crosswalk so she encouraged bad behavior. She also had bad judgment to go to Applebee’s, which is a sit down restaurant that has much slower service than McDonalds and might put the people at risk for missing the bus. They apparently did not tell the driver that they might be late due to Applebee’s typical slow paced service. The Good Samaritan has lived in the US for awhile and is not a tourist.

    The bus company could have given better service, such as checking the traffic report (but how many people do that?) and communicating with the passengers better. How much Republic Airlines dba American Eagle should have known is uncertain.

    In short, the worse affected is the injured couple. However, to create legal trouble for American Airlines is too lawsuit happy. I wonder if the truck driver got a traffic ticket? Probably not because they almost certainly didn’t use the crosswalk to cross the wide 5 lane street.

    What American Airlines may be at fault is, if they had good service, they could have offered passengers to take a bus if they wanted to get to NY sooner or take a flight the next day if they wanted to get to NY with the most comfort.

  60. If the Good Samaritan was not so chatty, the elderly couple would be ok. The Good Samaritan wrote ” After I realised how packed it was, I told them we should go to the Applebee’s to get food.”

    The NTSB investigates crashes then issues a report. If their methodology were applied here who would be to blame?

    1. Pedestrian error. Ran across the street, likely not using the crosswalk, which was much out of the way.

    2. Truck driver. Inability to stop in time. Becomes #1 if she/he got a traffic ticket.

    3. Good Samaritan. Led couple to dangerous situation. Does deserve commendation for assisting with the couple’s luggage and speaking with the son.

    4. Bus company. Did not provide explicit instructions such as to eat at McDonalds and when departure time would be. The driver did wait 20 minutes for all passengers to return before asking if anyone was missing. Did not check the online road condition report but checking such report is not a hard requirement.

    5. Republic Airlines dba American Eagle. May or may not have had reports of dangerous service by the bus company.

    6. American Airlines. Ticketing agent for Republic Airlines.

    7. Act of God. Storm.

  61. @Derek

    Great job! Blame everyone!

    Then they can all point at each other and nobody will have to take personal responsibility. Isn’t that how it works now days and precisely how we teach our young ones?

  62. @Jeff Schilling

    But the only ones to blame that should be financially responsible are #1 and/or #2. The others further down the list should just use this as a teaching lesson.

    Again, so tragic but trying to cross that 5 lane street, likely not using the crosswalk, at around 11 pm on a very windy night was not a good idea.

  63. MORE INFORMATION!
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2018/03/06/how-a-flight-diverted-by-the-noreaster-became-a-9-hour-bus-ride-and-ended-in-a-hospital/?utm_term=.532a9de9b7a4

    Excerpts:
    An American employee called her and offered a $500 gift voucher, she said. (The amount was later raised to $700, she noted.)

    The driver who struck the couple stopped immediately to render aid and was not found to be impaired, Aberdeen police spokesman Will Reiber said.

    “The pedestrians were struck while wearing dark clothing as they were crossing the roadway in a non-crosswalk area,” Reiber said, adding that the storm and time of the accident had led to “pretty much blackout conditions.”

    Reiber said he could not release a copy of the incident report yet, but said both victims were in serious but stable condition as of Monday afternoon.

    So running across the street in the dark, not running fast enough (if you’re going to try to run), and not using a crosswalk was a huge error.

    Also, if accurate, it is good to hear that the couple are in serious but stable condition, not critical condition.

  64. Looks like the Good Samaritan was flying MSP-LGA but the injured couple was flying BNA-LGA. This suggests there might not have been good passenger control, just some buses headed towards NY and not a strict passenger count. Is this wrong? No, just chaotic.

    About the same time as the Republic/American flight BNA-LGA, there was a Southwest flight. That flight didn’t try to land at JFK but turned around in flight near Baltimore and flew back to BNA. If only the couple booked WN.

  65. It is all about the who is responsible for that accident. I think AA, the bus driver, and the guy who hit them are all responsible.

    I don’t understand why there is still someone in the comments above was talking about what the couple should or should not do at that time. Don’t you think it is meanless? It happened. And he even mentioned something like “Luckily, the Good Samaritan didn’t steal their luggage and run away”. Can’t image how dirty a spirit it is to say something like that.

    It is definitely a sad story and we hope it won’t happen to anybody.

  66. I can’t believe how cold-blooded some of the comments are here. How could AA not take any responsibility dumping the passengers in a bus for 10 hours without providing food and bathroom break?? The bus company is definitely at fault as well. Poor couple I hope they will recover soon…

  67. @Ellen, when there are 2 airlines involved and your luggage is lost, the 2nd airline is the responsible one. If this trip is seen as as Republic (American) then bus, maybe the bus is responsible.

    If the bus lacked a bathroom then this could be an issue but if Aberdeen, MD is a rest stop, it’s only 30 miles from Baltimore and reasonable not to have a bathroom. City buses don’t have bathrooms.

    This incident is a lesson in that elderly people can sometimes make very bad judgments, such as running across the street in the dark and not in a crosswalk. If the bus company knew there was this slowdown and delay, they certainly wouldn’t have started the trip.

    Q. (above post) How could AA not take any responsibility dumping the passengers in a bus for 10 hours without providing food and bathroom break??

    A. Why didn’t the passengers know that it was 10 hours and no food or bathroom? They didn’t know just like AA didn’t know!!!!! The blog notes that it is normally a 4.5 hour trip. If so, it is very reasonable to stop maybe twice, once for the bathroom and another time for bathroom and food.

  68. I read not only the article but the woman’s statement as well. Then I rolled my eyes and braced myself for the comments section and sure enough….
    I scratched my head wondering if those commenting lived outside the US, in the Midwest or perhaps the West Coast?
    As anyone who has ever lived on the east coast will tell you, this was a storm of epic portions the likes of which were forecasted but still exceeded expectations!
    It was pointed out by a number of commenters that AA is not new to the business of flying. That is a given. One commenter made a statement that the best thing to do in such a situation was to “shelter in place” . Great advice!
    Given the weather, who at AA made the decision that the answer to this diversion was to put these people on a bus given weather conditions?
    As was stated, there were a number of aircraft diverted to this location. Power out up and down the coast, hotels full, airport full and someone called a bus company and ordered a bus. No doubt what showed up was all they had left available! So now we look at what bus company. Who puts their driver/bus on a road in those conditions? It appears that the only thing that kept the bus from an accident was that they were stuck in traffic!
    This is a day of terrible decisions from AA, bus Company, and the woman who while attempting to be helpful (bless her heart) also put them at risk. Had AA had the passengers “shelter in place” to start with, this couple would be safe in the company of their son at his home in New York.
    I also pray for their swift recovery.

  69. @Jim @derek
    Here is the source you were looking for. Derek made the correct guess.

    Aberdeen Police Dept @AberdeenPDMD 8:01 PM – 2 Mar 2018
    TRAFFIC ALERT! MVC with injury on Beards Hill Road in the area of Applebee’s. Possibly two pedestrians struck. Use caution in the area.

  70. The good samaritan made some wrong choices – NEVER have an elderly couple cross the road during a blizzard! Instead, they should have stayed at the McDonald’s….

  71. Of course, blame America and AA first. If this was the other way around, would the American couple in Communist China be treated better ? Would the American couple have A RIGHT to be compensated from the Chinese?
    Lucky, get off your high horse. If you wanted to help them..go ahead. You always sound like if my needs are not being met……it’s their fault.
    Note: Other bloggers give of themselves and their time and resources, whether miles or points or just gift cards.
    You give NOTHING….unless you get something in return. Always. Think about it. Everybody knows you.
    Respectfully.

  72. @H. Noland.

    Odd you advocate people take responsibility for themself…which I agree. Then, you attack someone for your perceived view that they don’t give in the way or amount you want. Sitting mighty high on that judgement throne and entitlement attitude aren’t you ….

    Personally I find the give aways I’ve seen to be so small they are hardly worth my time to go do anything to get them. I’m not hear to clip (penny) coupons. I frankly see Lucky bringing out news first … Perhaps for other bloggers to simply cut and paste … If you don’t like what’s offered just don’t subscribe.

    I celebrate your first amendment right. But I disagree, and I find it most childish. Sadly, it’s indicative of most problems in our world…in my opinion.

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