Paralysed Aussie’s ‘shabby’ airline compo

The incident happened on Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London to Singapore in May that made an emergency landing in Bangkok. The plane was forced to land following extreme turbulence caused by “rapid changes in gravitational force and a 178ft altitude drop”, Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau has found in preliminary investigations.

A 73-year-old man died having been injured in the incident, and 80 people were injured, some seriously, such as Adelaide woman Kerry Jordan.

Adelaide residents Keith Davis and Kerry Jordan were on holiday inthe UK and returning home on Singapore Airlines flight SQ321.
Adelaide couple Keith Davis and Kerry Jordan in hospital after the incident.

Ms Jordan’s spine was damaged, and she is in Royal Adelaide Hospital paralysed from the chest down, her husband Keith Davis said.

“I’m actually not on Facebook, so when this was circulated to me it was a hell of a shock,” Mr Davis told Channel 9.

“It’s just small, small steps. Unfortunately, some of those steps sometimes feel like we’re going backward … her mobility is restricted to her arm and neck.

“At this stage it is a catastrophic injury,” he said.

Singapore Airlines’ SQ321 plane plunge.
Singapore Airlines’ SQ321 plane plunge.

The $A37,000 compensation offered from the airline was inadequate to cover the life-altering injuries, Mr Davis said.

“I expect they will provide adequate compensation for the whole of Kerry’s life.”

Lawyers representing passengers have criticised the way compensation offers have been communicated and say they will pursue further payments as the incident is investigated.

SINGAPORE TURBULENCE FLIGHT
Mr Davis is upset he found out about the compensation payments via social media. Picture: NewsWire / Kelly Barnes

Lawyer and former federal senator Nick Xenophon, speaking alongside Mr Davis in Adelaide this week, described the compensation rollout as “shabby”.

The airline has made an advance payment of $US25,000 ($A37,000) for the “immediate needs” of passengers who have been medically assessed as having sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care and requesting financial assistance.

“This will be part of the final compensation that these passengers will receive,” the airline confirmed in a statement on its Facebook page.

Supplied Editorial Adelaide residents Keith Davis and Kerry Jordan were on holiday in\n the UK and returning home on Singapore Airlines flight SQ321
Ms Jordan remains paralysed from the chest down.

Singapore Airlines also sent offers of $US10,000 ($A15,000) in compensation to passengers who sustained minor injuries in the horror incident, while those with more serious injuries have been invited to discuss offers to meet “their specific circumstances when they feel well and ready to do so”.

Travellers who suddenly found themselves in Thailand were given 1000 Singapore dollars ($A1110) to depart.

A screenshot of footage from inside the plane. Picture: Twitter
A screenshot of footage from inside the plane. Picture: Twitter

“SIA is fully co-operating with the relevant authorities in the investigation into this incident,” an airline spokesperson said.

“(Singapore Airlines) has also been covering the medical expenses of the injured passengers and arranged for their family members and loved ones to fly up to Bangkok where requested.

“Singapore Airlines deeply apologises to all passengers for the traumatic experience on-board flight SQ321 on 20 May 2024.”

Singapore Airlines declined to comment on lawyers’ views of the compensation rollout when contacted by NewsWire this week.