U.S. Airways is currently in the hot seat after it allegedly lost a very precious baggage - that of the ashes of a cremated person.
Angeline O'Grady, from Trumbauersville, Pennsylvania, U.S., has filed charges against the American airline after the latter can't seem to stitch together how it lost the container carrying Brian O'Grady's ashes, who died of cancer in November 2011, which was in the first place inside Ms O'Grady's checked-in baggage. Mr O'Grady's last wish was to have his ashes scattered near his hometown of Hull, England.
Flying to England that same month aboard U.S. Airways, the widow wanted to hand-carry the container. But airline staff at the Philadelphia International Airport officials denied her request "because its contents were not a solid substance" and that it must be part of her checked-in luggage.
Left with no choice, Ms O'Grady complied. She opened her luggage, placed the container with the valuable contents inside and zipped close the luggage. She even had a piece of paper taped to the luggage with the words "Fragile."
Ms O'Grady maintained she handed to a U.S. Airways representative the ashes along with the certificate of death.
When she returned to the U.S. Airways ticketing counter to check her bag which finally carries Mr O'Grady's ashes, she was told her seat had been given away "because she was now running late. Eventually, the airline forced her to buy a $500 business class ticket," Bill Goldman Jr, Ms O'Grady's lawyer, told ABC News.
But lo and behold. When she opened her bags in England, the container carrying Mr O'Grady's ashes was no longer there.
"She feels that she failed to honour her husband's last request that his ashes be scattered along with his mother's," Mr Goldman said. He added the airline "obviously made the choice, through incompetence and outrageous behaviour, to determine his last resting place."
Ms O'Grady filed charges against U.S. Airways for breach of contract, bailment, negligence and intentional infliction of mental distress. She is seeking $200,000, plus damages and other costs.
"U.S. Airways, rather than Mr. and Ms O'Grady has had the last word in determining Mr. O'Grady's final resting place. He is not at peace," the suit said. "Entrusted at Philadelphia International Airport with the extraordinarily precious ashes/remains of [her] husband," U.S. Airways showed "negligence, recklessness, callousness and intentional conduct," when it failed in its duties."
U.S. Airways maintained it was not its fault that Ms O'Grady lost the container carrying her husband's ashes.
"While we certainly send our condolences to Mrs. O'Grady, US Airways' investigation into this matter did not uncover any information indicating that US Airways is responsible for this unfortunate incident. We, of course, will defend ourselves against the suit," the company said in a written statement.
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