Survivors of a heart-stopping aeroplane nosedive receive shockingly inadequate compensation

When passengers boarded LATAM Airlines flight LA800 from Sydney to Auckland, they expected a routine journey across the Tasman Sea.

Instead, they experienced a harrowing ordeal as their plane suddenly plunged out of the sky, resulting in injuries for 50 individuals and a traumatic experience for those on board.

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft encountered what has been described as a 'technical problem', causing chaos within the cabin as passengers were thrown against the ceiling and down the aisles.

Emergency services, including St John Ambulance, were dispatched to Auckland International Airport, where they treated the wounded.

Thirteen of these passengers required hospitalisation for their injuries.

LATAM Airlines flight passengers expressed their disappointment over the airline’s response to the incident. Image source: Shutterstock.

But in a move that has sparked outrage among the survivors, the airline's immediate compensation for this life-threatening experience was a single McDonald's cheeseburger, handed out as they awaited further information.

This gesture has been perceived as a slap in the face by those who had just cheated death.

The passengers' ordeal did not end with the emergency landing.

Thais Iwamoto, 26, from Sydney claimed that the lack of support and poor communications from the airline 'is something I want to talk to them about because it's not OK. It's just not fair.'

'Accidents happen, but the way they treat us, that's not what it's supposed to be,' she added.

Another Brisbane woman Clara Azevedo, found herself in the role of impromptu caregiver and translator for fellow travelers.

'We are all traumatised, and we had to find strength to help people out. But this is not our responsibility, it is LATAM’s—but they haven't done anything. That's very frustrating,' Ms Azevedo said.

Azevedo, who was unharmed, spent the night at a hospital assisting an elderly woman with broken ribs and a shoulder injury.

Jacob Thompson, another Australian passenger, recounted the terrifying moments when he and his partner were violently jostled by the unexpected turbulence.

The fear that they might not survive the flight was palpable, and the subsequent treatment by the airline only added insult to injury.

'We didn't know if we would make it to landing,' he recalled.

The survivors were eventually transported to an Auckland hotel in the early hours of Tuesday morning, where breakfast the following day was their first proper meal since the cheeseburger at the airport.

Azevedo and the injured woman she took care of were due to catch the rescheduled flight to Santiago, Chile, at 8 PM, Tuesday night.

She said she was feeling 'terrified' and was hoping to get something to help her sleep during her journey to South America.

As of Tuesday evening, four passengers remained hospitalised with significant injuries.

The diverse group of injured passengers hailed from countries including Brazil, France, Australia, Chile, and New Zealand.

LATAM Airlines has stated that it is coordinating with authorities to support investigations into the incident and has 'provided affected passengers with food, accommodation and transportation due to the flight cancellation'.

The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission has indicated that Chile will lead the investigation, as the incident occurred in international airspace.
Key Takeaways

  • Passengers on a LATAM Airlines flight from Sydney to Auckland were injured after the plane lost altitude and plunged, resulting in around 50 injuries.
  • After the incident, the passengers were treated with a single McDonald's cheeseburger as compensation while they waited for updates, which angered many.
  • Several passengers expressed frustration with the lack of support and poor communication from LATAM Airlines following the traumatic event.
  • LATAM Airlines stated they were working with authorities to support investigations and had provided affected passengers with food, accommodation, and transportation due to the flight cancellation.
Our thoughts go out to the victims of the incident, and we wish all of them a speedy recovery.

Have you experienced a flight cancellation before? How was the airline’s response to the situation? Share your stories with us in the comments below.
They are the largest airline group in South America. Based in Chile, but multinational in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia.
ever heard of keeping your seat belt on when flying. or are you the suing type? I have never heard of them either but blame climate change though planes have been doing this since they first went up in the sky. this reply if for gamiry.

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