Dubai: Emirates flight EK 521 accident survivors, who have received emails confirming $7,000 (Dh25.712) compensation per passenger, have lauded the airline for its prompt and professional handling of the damages and personal follow up.
Of the $7,000, passengers have been informed that $2,000 is in respect of loss of luggage and personal effects and $5,000 is for any other damages they have suffered as a result of the accident, plus a full refund of the ticket.
Many passengers on Thursday told Gulf News that they had been assured that the amount would be credited to their account within two weeks.
In a statement, Emirates said: “We remain in contact with the passengers and can confirm that Emirates has offered financial assistance to meet their immediate needs. This includes support for their lost baggage items, as access to the aircraft is still highly restricted while investigations are under way, as well as medical expenses and other incidental expenditures. We are also refunding their tickets.”
In accordance with international laws, the airline is obliged to pay only $1,570 per person for the loss of baggage and personal effects.
In the email sent out to passengers, a copy of which was obtained by Gulf News, Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, declared that Emirates was making “an additional payment of $430 for the lost luggage above and beyond its legal obligations in respect of [their] traumatic experiences.”
The $5,000 additional payment, he said, was “in respect of any other damages that [passengers] have suffered as a result of the incident”.
Dr. Shaji Kochukutty, whose five-member family was aboard the plane, said the prompt and professional announcement was highly commendable.
Echoing his view, Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar, a survivor who went on to win a $1 million raffle, appreciated the airline “for going beyond the international rule in compensating for lost luggage”.
“They showed their presence of mind, professionalism and high standard not just during the rescue work. The follow up they made with the passengers and this compensation announcement also show exactly that,” he said.
Another passenger, Susan John Thomas, said she has been touched by the follow up from Emirates.
“I am extremely touched by the way Emirates calls me every day to check how I am… That question makes a lot of difference to us,” said the English teacher who has been working in Dubai for 20 years.
“I am again touched by the beautiful words of the letter from the airline’s president. It is not about the compensation amount as what matters the most is God’s love and protection that guarded us….It is about the way they have touched our lives. I am happy that they are doing everything as per the international standard and it has been done so immediately.”
Noting that flight EK521 on August 3, 2016 will forever live in the hearts and minds of the Emirates family, Clark wrote: “We will always be grateful to all our 282 passengers and 18 crew members, for having extraordinary courage in respect of what was an undoubtedly deeply distressing incident.
“In the hours that followed this incident, I have been extremely touched by the remarkable stories from many of you, our crew members, first responders, colleagues and well-wishers worldwide. There has been one common theme: resilience. Emirates has been tested and, by virtue of your strength and determination, and the extraordinary bravery of all concerned, I’m confident we will emerge stronger together.
“Anything that you were unable to retrieve at the time of the evacuation of the aircraft has most likely been destroyed…Please rest assured that if we are able to recover any of your belongings at any time in the future, we will endeavour to return them to you as expeditiously as possible, wherever you are at the time,” he added.
The email also mentioned a dedicated email id and contact number for the passengers to keep in touch with the airline.