So how do we get that Airbus 320 out of the Hudson River?

I assumed US Airways Flight 1549 would simply lie at the bottom of the Hudson River for the next 10,000 years, where it would become a home to all the fish (if there are any) that live in that river.

But apparently the plane was already fished out of the river back on January 17, which, judging from the pictures that I’ve just stumbled upon, was no small feat of engineering. How was it done?

It appears to have been lifted out of the water using heavy cables hanging from a massive crane, and it was placed on an even more massive barge. The plane was then moved to New Jersey for examination by accident investigators.

Check out all the amazing photos here.

US Airways check already in the mail

Notoriety is now worth $5,000. US Airways sent checks for $5,000 to each passenger on Flight 1549 last week, better known as the plane that touched down on the Hudson River. The payment came with a letter, in which the airline claimed to be “truly sorry.” Passengers were also reimbursed for ticket costs.

This is a pretty refreshing move, especially following JetBlue’s refusal to recognize its shortcomings outside a courtroom.

According to US Airways, luggage from Flight 1549 may remain in the hands of investigators for several months, and some may be “unrecoverable.” Compensation for this inconvenience, the checks began to arrive yesterday. US Airways has stated that the checks are not intended to sidestep any claims or litigation that passengers may file.

The reason for the delay in returning recovered luggage, according to reporting by the NY Times, is that the items have to be weighed wet, dried for eight weeks and then weighed again. The purpose is to verify the weight and balance of the plane.

[Via NY Times]

Spirit Airlines attempts to collect a cancellation fee off flight 1549 passengers

OK folks – it is no secret that airlines use fees and rules to increase their bottom line. If they mess up, you lose, if you mess up, you lose. Either way, the airline always manages to come out on top. And never has that been more clear than in the case of Rob and Jeff Kolodjay.

Rob and Jeff were scheduled to fly from La Guardia to Charlotte on a Spirit Airlines flight. When that flight was canceled, they were rebooked onto US Airways flight 1549.

Of course, we all know what happened next – naturally none of that can be blamed on Spirit, but when Rob called them to cancel his return tickets, the company representative insisted that he charge them a $90 cancellation fee.

That’s right – even after being put on a flight that ended in the water, Spirit stuck to their rule books and demanded more money.

Of course, all worked out in the end when the story hit the press. Once Rob told his story on the local Fox news affiliate, Spirit Airlines issued a full refund. It’s amazing what a bit of really bad PR can do., via