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Post-disaster, carriers paid quickly, families wait years

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Post-disaster, carriers paid quickly, families wait years

Unread post by bimjim » Mon May 05, 2014

http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News ... cid=eltrdb

Post-disaster, carriers paid quickly, victim families wait years
Arnie Weissmann
May 5, 2014

An article in Fortune magazine examines the arcane world of airline disaster insurance, in which owners of passenger-carrying vessels are usually compensated within three days while families of victims must wait years as lawsuits wind their way through legal systems.

“No one would ever accuse an airline executive of wishing for these tragedy-induced windfalls,” the article states. “Nor would an airline executive see them as a benefit from a purely economic standpoint.”

Nonetheless, the payouts have resulted in big profits, with airlines using euphemisms such as “involuntary conversion of an aircraft” to explain a unexpected windfall to shareholders.

The quick payouts to owners have been standard procedure for all passenger-carrying vessels, and have been triggered by tragedies ranging from the Titanic to the Hindenburg dirigible to the Costa Concordia, writes author Peter Greenberg, CBS News travel editor and host of the PBS series "The Travel Detective."

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