Lufthansa offers $500 to teen scalded by hot coffee during meal service: report

Alter-ego / Tupungato /

A teenager who flew Lufthansa to Budapest Ferenc Liszt airport (BUD) was reportedly offered $500 by the airline after a flight attendant spilled hot coffee on him during the flight’s meal service. 

In a report by CTV News Toronto, 19-year old Jack Hayden flew from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Budapest in July 2023. It was Hayden’s first trip overseas and things were going smoothly until the second leg of the trip, from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to Budapest.

According to Hayden, coffee and tea were offered prior to touchdown, and the flight attendant placed the cup of coffee at an angle that made the hot beverage spill directly on the right side of his lower body.

Hayden said that the first thing he felt was pain and the burning, subsequently claiming that he suffered second-degree burns because of the accidental spill.

However, it was the flight attendant’s reaction that most bothered Hayden. The teenager said that the flight attendant simply said, “Oh no,” before continuing to serve drinks to other passengers.

It wasn’t until two minutes later, when the flight attendant had finished serving other passengers, that she moved the trolley, allowing Hayden to stand and go to the lavatory to wash and cool off his burns.

Hayden said that, for the rest of the flight, he was unable to fasten his seatbelt due to the pain, and he had trouble sleeping for the first few days of his trip.

When he got to Budapest, Hayden went to a pharmacist, who told him that he had suffered second-degree burns and prescribed medication which Hayden duly applied throughout his trip.

Hayden’s burns were healed by the time he returned to Toronto, so he didn’t consult a physician in Canada.

Hayden and his mother received correspondence with Lufthansa, which was seen by CTV News. 

An email sent by Lufthansa Customer Relations on September 15, 2023 reads: “We would like to inform you that there was no injury report filed on board the flight by your son and we are still awaiting a reply from the crew if they can recall the incident,” 

Lufthansa also offered to compensate Hayden the sum of $500, the maximum amount that the airline said it could offer without any medical documents and bills being provided. 

Hayden insists that all he wants from the airline is accountability for the incident and an apology. 

In November 2015, Virgin Australia faced a lawsuit after a teenager flying from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD) sustained severe burns in his groin area from hot coffee due to a faulty cup holder. 

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