Ever since McDonald’s was made to pay $3 million in a settlement over spilled coffee, other such incidents have been reported. Coffee lovers are being served piping hot coffee that causes burns to skin, even after new guidelines and the publicity such incidents bring up. Most of the spills happen on the highway after a trip through a drive-thru coffee stand. This week, though, Christopher Elliot, a writer of travel trips, reported on such a coffee spill in-flight. A major US airline was the scene of a scalding hot coffee spill which covered the lap of a female passenger. The passenger complained of pain and embarrassment but did not mention any actual burns or injuries. She asked the airlines for a reimbursement of her airline miles which purchased the flight, but was turned down. Elliot answers her complaint by suggesting a process for complaining. Hopefully you’ll never have to worry about such a claim but just in case, here are the basic ideas: - Fill out an incident report. - If the airline gives an unsatisfactory answer, follow up with another letter explaining your grievance and requesting a review. - Make sure your complaint goes to the actual department responsible to act on claims. - If you’re requesting a reinstatement of air miles, make sure the claim goes to the department that awards air miles. In the airline case, the company initially offered dry cleaning for the stained clothing. After Elliot checked into the problem, the airline offered another $300. The customer was satisfied. There is now a solution to the hot coffee problem – that is precisely why coffee joullies were invented. (http://www.roaste.com/CafeRoaste/News/2011/05/04/New-Coffee-Beans-Are-Co... )These are stainless steel encased cooling agents you put in coffee that’s too hot to drink and within seconds the liquid is held at 140 degrees, a temperature that isn’t hot enough to burn skin. If the passenger had been carrying the joullies with her, she could have handed them to the flight attendant to place in her cup prior to pouring. By the time the coffee was passed over her lap, it might have cooled down. That might not have helped the wet clothes problem, but at least the coffee shouldn’t burn.