Qantas apologises to passenger who suffered second-degree burns on flight

By @chelean on
Qantas planes taxi at Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney, Australia, February 22, 2018.
Qantas planes taxi at Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney, Australia, February 22, 2018. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Qantas has finally apologised to a Perth woman who suffered burns while on a flight to Queensland last month. Australia’s flag carrier airline also agreed to pay her ongoing medical expenses.

Speaking with ABC Radio Perth last week, Karina, who did not want to have her last name published, said she was on Qantas flight QF860 on her way to the Gold Coast on March 18 when a flight attendant accidentally split boiling water on her legs.

Apparently unaware of the pain she had caused the passenger, the flight attendant moved on to the next row of people. Karina did not get any medical assistance or help throughout the entire flight. And when she later mentioned the accident to the flight attendant, the staff still seemed unconcerned.

“She went, ‘oh,’ and that was all she said,” Karina told the radio. “I kept trying to tell the flight attendants what had happened, but again they didn’t do anything [to help me] on the flight.”

Karina went straight to the hospital herself to get treated. The medical staff told her that had she received treatment for her burn immediately, her wound would not have been as severe. She almost lost her contract at the Commonwealth Games for being deemed unfit to work if not for the medical team at the hospital.

She sent Qantas letters from the hospital about the accident and how she was ignored. She said it took the company 11 days to acknowledge the complaint she filed online. She wanted an apology from the airline, as well as payment for her medical expenses of $400.

The ABC reports on Tuesday that the airline has finally issued an apology. It also said it would cover Karina’s medical costs. A spokeswoman also said that the company would review its complaint process.

Karina, on her part, said was satisfied with Qantas’ apology. “I have accepted an offer to pay my ongoing medical costs and also accepted its apology,” she said in a statement. “And I’m pleased the issue has been resolved and Qantas has acknowledged what happened to me.”