Angeline O'Grady's husband, Brian, sadly passed away from cancer. And, perhaps because it was what he wanted, the month following his death, she brought his urn onto a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to his hometown of Hull, England to scatter his ashes. But there was a problem. See, Angeline brought her husband's ashes on board with her (perfectly legal, per the TSA), but US Airways told her she had to check them. Reluctantly, she did, and you can probably guess what happened next: US Airways lost the urn containing the remains of Angeline's husband.
Angeline is now suing US Airways, who claims that there was an internal investigation conducted, and no information was uncovered that indicated that the airline is responsible for the loss of the ashes. But ... what happened to them then? Angeline reportedly was directed to the US Airways counter and she put the ashes in her checked bag.
When you make the decision to have a loved one cremated, it's a very personal one. You're doing it for a reason. Maybe it's what the deceased would have wanted. Maybe it's simply what you want. It's a private choice, and Angeline was going to do a beautiful thing with the remains of her husband. I can't imagine the anger and violation she must feel, learning that her husband's urn is god knows where, with god knows who.
I doubt Angeline will ever be able to rest easy having no clue where her husband's ashes are. That seems like it would just be an odd feeling to live with. But hopefully she'll be compensated in some way for what she's been put through. No, it won't change her situation. But at least the airline will have to pay for their carelessness.
What would you do if this were you?
Image via Cloudsurfer_UK/Flickr