Survivors Gelt

Even though they got $5000 for their lost luggage and first class upgrades for the next year, some of the passengers of US Airways Flight 1459 think they should get first class upgrades for life.

“I think if you survive a plane crash, being upgraded permanently is a good gesture too,” said Fred Berretta, 41, of Charlotte, NC, where the Airbus A320 was headed. Manhattanite Tess Sosa, who escaped the sinking plane with her husband and two small children, thought the airline was too focused on self-congratulations – and “they want to exonerate themselves as much as they can.”

“They are happy they had such amazing results, and they applaud themselves, and then give us a small token?” she said. “That’s how I take it.” At La Guardia yesterday, other US Airways travelers were shocked by the airline’s lowballing. “You’re going to crash me into the water, and you’re going to tell me all I get is an upgrade?” asked Antonio Sales, 20, who was traveling with the University of South Carolina’s track team. “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.” Teammate Gabrielle Glenn, 20, was more blunt: “That’s it. They should sue.”

They were totally cheated out of those death benefits too! Personally, I’d be complaining about the lousy seven air miles added to my frequent flyer account.