The financial collapse has gifted us with some first-class public relations kerfuffles—those bonuses at AIG and the big three automakers arriving in DC via private jet, to name just two—and there might be another one on the horizon. AIG is giving the survivors of the Miracle on the Hudson plane crash a hard time about reimbursing them for their lost property, medical care and therapy bills.
The issue is that airline liability insurance goes into effect if the airline was at fault, but since it was the geese (who, for their sins, are going to be hunted by the city of New York) and not US Airways and Super Captain Sully that did wrong, AIG may not have to pay for the personal items destroyed during the plane's belly flop. AIG may have the legal grounds for not paying the claims—or at least that's what lawyers who specialize in such things are saying—but shouldn't AIG know better? US Airways gave each passenger $5,000, even though it wasn't legally obligated to do so. And US Airways execs don't have to be concerned about the public already despising them, as is the case with the people who run AIG. Then again, since AIG's reputation is so irredeemably damaged at this point, they really don't have much to lose, do they?