A Ryanair passenger could be in line for a big payout after she claims she was left with second-degree burns when cabin crew accidentally dropped a plate of scalding hot pasta which the budget carrier sells onboard for just €6.50 down her leg.
Brie Ortiz, a 37-year-old former US Air Force pilot says she was flying with the Dublin-based airline from Marseille to London on Tuesday, October 26 when a member of the cabin crew dropped the hot pasta in her lap.
The cabin crew member was allegedly passing the pasta to a colleague on the opposite side of the trolley when they lost grip of the dish, and it spilt on Brie and some of her belongings.
Brie says she requested medical assistance from the flight attendants but rather than rushing to her aid, the cabin crew allegedly carried on serving other passengers.
Left in tears from the pain, Brie was helped by another passenger and had to go to hospital when the flight landed in London.
“After I was burned the flight attendants simply did not act with any empathy or concern,” Brie told the Mirror. “A customer in the seat next to me actually stepped in and helped me when they did not. I told the flight attendants several times that I was badly burned and needed something for it,” she continued.
“Unfortunately it felt as if they were more concerned with finishing up meal service and then selling duty-free to bother with me. I was in so much pain at the time, I did not think to get anyone’s names that were involved.”
Brie claims that the crew told her there was nothing onboard the aircraft to treat a burn injury, but after 45 minutes one of the crew members opened a First Aid kit and found some burn gel.
When the flight landed, Brie says she was in so much pain she had to take off her trousers to stop the material from rubbing against the burn
“I was in so much pain I could barely walk,” she explained. “I got more care from two airport workers at customs than I did the entire flight. I went to them because I was in tears and shaking by the point I got to customs.
“Ultimately I ended up humiliated and walking through the airport without my trousers because I couldn’t tolerate them rubbing the burn and I had to apply the burn gel the customs ladies gave me every few mins.”
Under the provisions of the Montreal Convention, international law that provides airline passengers certain rights, Brie could be in line for a big compensation payout.
Airlines are generally held liable for all accidents that happen onboard their aircraft unless they can prove the accident was caused by one of the passengers. Various courts have backed claims made by passengers scalded by hot food and drink that has been dropped by cabin crew.
Earlier this year, Ryanair agreed to pay an eight-year-old girl £3,500 (US $4,240) in compensation after she was scalded by hot tea when a flight attendant allegedly failed to secure the lid on the cup.
In that case, however, Ryanair agreed on the payout without accepting liability for the accident.
If Ryanair had been found to be liable for the accident, the payout could have been far higher. Following a similar accident onboard a Turkish Airlines flight in 2017, the airline was ordered to pay a burns victim €65,000 in compensation after a flight attendant accidentally spilt hot tea on the leg of a 13-year-old boy.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.