JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Miami Air International, the charter airline whose Boeing 737 made an emergency landing Friday evening at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, is offering passengers $2,500 for their inconvenience.
In a letter, Miami Air apologized Monday to the 136 passengers on board the flight when it arrived from Guantanamo Bay and slid off the runway into the St. Johns River, and vowed to return their luggage.
“Please allow this letter to convey our sincerest regret that you were involved in the unfortunate incident aboard Flight 293 at NAS Jacksonville on May 3, 2019,” Miami Air CEO Kurt Kamrad wrote.
Nearly two dozen people, including three children, were taken to Jacksonville area hospitals late Friday night after the mishap. No one was seriously injured, but a dog and two cats died in the cargo hold.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what happened. Already, the panel has found the pilots for asked for a last-minute runway change and that a left-hand thrust reverser wasn’t working.
It could take up to 18 months for that investigation to be completed.
“Please be confident that the safety and satisfaction of our passengers are our top priorities,” Kamrad said. “As such, we would like to extend a goodwill gesture to all passengers in the amount of $2,500.”
He said luggage stored inside the aircraft’s cargo hold remains on board the plane. He added that the company will retrieve baggage from the plane once it receives the go-ahead from the NTSB.
Five passengers have reached to local attorney John Phillips for representation. In a pair of tweets, Philips wrote: "The story we heard was harrowing... Some are headed back to GITMO as soon as tomorrow and lost basically everything. They’ve only heard about this “promise” through media. No attempt to reach out to them."
Those with additional questions and concerns are encouraged to contact the company’s customer service staff by dialing 1-800-279-3280.