Asiana Fined 500K for Routing Calls to Reservations During SFO Crash Amongst Other Communication Failures

Did you know it took Asiana more than 18 hours to staff a reliable toll-free number for family members to call last July immediately after their SFO crash?

From the AP:

U.S. transportation officials fined Asiana Airlines $500,000 for failing to promptly contact passengers’ families and keep them informed about their loved ones after a deadly crash last year at San Francisco International airport, in the first penalty of its kind. The U.S. Department of Transportation said it took the South Korean airline five days to contact the families of all 291 passengers, including relatives of three Chinese teens who died. In addition, a required crash hotline was initially routed to an automated reservations line. Never before has the department concluded that an airline broke U.S. laws requiring prompt and generous assistance to the loved ones of crash victims.

Under a consent order the airline signed with the department, Asiana will pay a $400,000 fine and get a $100,000 credit for sponsoring industry-wide conferences and training sessions through 2015 to discuss lessons learned from the situation.In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, Asiana spokeswoman Hyomin Lee said the airline “provided extensive support to the passengers and their families following the accident and will continue to do so.”Asiana said in the consent order that its response immediately after the crash was slowed because it occurred on a holiday weekend when staffing was short. In addition, the airline lacked translators and personnel trained in crash response.

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