It was just about two months ago that I experienced the emergency landing. As you know, I was completely grateful to the American Airlines flight crew, and then completely frustrated with the lack of customer service the next day. After I expressed my concerns, however, I did receive an apology along with a decent voucher.
I thought my experience with them was finished. Then recently, a very kind woman from their Risk Management Department reached out to tell me they were going to cover all my medical expenses and include an extra amount for pain and suffering. I didn’t fight for that. They offered it to me. I’m sure the cynics will say it’s to avoid any kind of action by me, and I’m sure that’s a big part of it, but I’m happy to have the follow-up from them. In the end, their corporate responses to me were very acceptable, although I have heard not everyone was treated the same, which I don’t understand.
I did learn more about the cause of the problem. They said the smoke in the cabin was due to something left cooking in the oven in the back. They said it continued to overheat underneath the oven until something popped which allowed the smoke to pour into the cabin. I suppose it’s no different than a house fire starting with food left cooking on the stove, and seriously, if anyone can relate to cooking mishaps, I’m totally that person.
After I wrote about the emergency landing itself, my niece, Blair, posted this to me: “You are a strong woman, and I wish I could be as strong as you. I don't know what I would have done in that situation. I hope we can all take a life lesson from you and be as strong as you are.”
A month later, Blair, her husband and little boy huddled together in their bathroom in Washington, Illinois as a tornado destroyed everything around them, and they were left bruised but alive with only the clothes they were wearing. They have been working ever since to pick up the pieces and move forward, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say, “Blair, you are proving every day what a strong woman you are, and I think we can all take a lesson from you.”