1549 Passengers Get Elite Frequent Flier Status, For A Limited Time

One of the cool things about being one of the few people in the world to survive a crash water landing is that you get preferred frequent flier mile status. The passengers from flight 1549 that crashed in the Hudson river will get US Airways “Chairman’s Preferred status,” which entitles them and a companion to first-class seat upgrades, choice seating, and priority check-in. In a letter to the passenger, CEO Doug Parker describes it as his airline’s “most coveted frequent flier level.” But you better get over your PTSD-induced drowning nightmares quick, 1549ers, the status expires in March 2010. The CEO’s letter in full, inside…

January 21, 2009

I hope that this letter finds you at home and taking some time to rest and recover from the events of last Thursday.

On behalf of the 34,000 employees at US Airways, I want to acknowledge your courage, the professionalism of our crew, and the outstanding rescue efforts of all of the various organizations and agencies that came together last week to assist with Flight 1549.

We would very much like to see you on a future US Airways flight soon. To that end, we are extending Chairman’s Preferred status, our most coveted frequent flier level, to you through March 2010.

I know our Customer Care Team has been providing support and also communicating next steps as we work to recover and potentially return any items from the flight. In the meantime, please let us know if you have additional needs.

Again, we are grateful the events surrounding Flight 1549 ended as they did, and we will continue to applaud our crew and the actions of the first responders for many years to come.

We look forward to serving you again soon.

Sincerely,

Doug Parker
Chairman and CEO, US Airways

Chairman’s Preferred Status gives the passenger and companion first-class seats when they’re available flying domestically, an upgrade to Europe or Hawaii, choice of seats and priority check-in.

Passenger Antonio Sales from the flight told the New York Post, “That’s more of an ‘OK, you’re not dead, I’ll give you something to hold on to.’ It’s not enough at all.”

SURVIVORS’ GILT [New York Post]
(Thanks to Crim Law Geek!) (Photo: derek7272)