Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

KAL and BIU deny compensation to pilot

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

KAL and BIU deny compensation to pilot

Old 17th Aug 2002, 00:06
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
KAL and BIU deny compensation to pilot

Here's a letter sent to a friend flying for KAL from a colleague.


Dear all,

Speaking to Mr. Ali, President of Best International USA just days after a termination letter was issued in (date left out for anonimity purposes) 2002, he sounded sympathetic towards this unfortunate event. He asked me if there was any last request. My reply was, make sure the USD 600 per week is in my bank account as per the compensation of his in house BIU long term disability and/or loss of employment insurance. He answered that BIU was always prompt in their payment.

This bit of conversation cheered me as a month back in 2002 I could not satisfy the requirement of the KAL aero medical certification. Then in early July 2002, no payment was received and called him again and this time a very serious voice answered that my case was in hands of his solicitors and that within a few days he will know whether I merit a compensation. A few days went passed and phoned him yet again and his secretary said that he was busy speaking to his solicitors

In (date left out for anonimity purposes) 2002 a circular addressed to all BIU flight personnel was sent to me which said that “As per BIU disability insurance benefits, this policy will not cover any disability if a), which is caused of contributed by/or results from a preexisting condition b), or which begins in the first twelve months after the insured pilots effective date. It was discovered that I was the only flight personnel that was given this letter. The rest of the BIU pilots were not given notice of this letter.

At the stroke of a pen, this disclaimer nullified all my claims to the benefits and yet in February 2nd 2002 when this policy effective date commenced, no mention was made about the above disclaimer. It would appear that this disclaimer was made up after my medical failure to prevent me from benefiting from the compensation.

His February 2nd 2002 circular sounded deceptively attractive and it was titled “ BIU new benefit plan “. It goes on to say “ Dear flight personnel we are pleased to inform you that now we are carrying a long term disability and/or loss of employment insurance for all of you in place of loss of license insurance by Harvey Watts. This has a maximum payment of USD 600 a week that commences after 30 days of unemployment due to accident or sickness for up to 108 weeks.

In the summary to this insurance it mentions the usual no benefits if this disability or sickness is self inflicted and the last clause is interesting

“This coverage is extended to you without requiring evidence of insurability“. Further in the application form aside from the usual personal particulars there was no section on medical history where you list all your physical defects. Following normal insurance practice the insurers [underwriters] will issue an exclusion based on your declaration of medical history.

Numerous letters were sent to him requesting for application forms pertaining to filing for claims and the insurer or underwriters name. None of these faxes numbering 3 were replied to. All attempted phone conversations with Mr.Ali was screened by his secretary and the usual reply was that he was with his muslim brothers at the mosque meet or with his solicitors. Hoping to jolt him into action a letter was sent to foreign crew administration and vice president administration citing his non compliance with insurance procedures and other defaults in the past. A letter KAL to Ali in response to my plea for help to the effect that KAL would not tolerate such demeaning behaviour would have prodded him into action. Till today nothing was heard from KAL in response to my plea for help.

Defaults, there were many. In January 1997 I received the first lost of license insurance policy from Harvey Watts and this policy automatically renews as long as the premium are paid. In the autumn of 2000 lying on a hospital bed, phoned him to check if my LOL insurance was in effect. It was not. After filling in a proposal form, this LOL was reactivated 2 months later. It was fortunate that hospitalization did not result in losing my license. If it had resulted in a loss of license, then no claims could be entertained. Ali had allowed the LOL to lapse in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

As the hospitalization was in Seoul I was entitled to hospitalization benefits under his group CIGNA plan. Upon discharge, called up CIGNA and was told that I was not in the group list. The hospital bills were sent by registered post to Ali. A week later, he said that they had received the letter but the contents were mutilated beyond recognition!!! .

His non compliance with the request for the claims form from his in house BIU disability insurance scheme raises some interesting points. Is it a legitimate scheme? If so why no claim form or underwriters name? His silence says a lot. What if someone had switched from Harvey Watts to BIU disability scheme and had a medical problem during the currency of the former, would subsequent claims arising out of his deterioration of his medical condition be entertained under the latter scheme? From the circular of July the 10th the answer is no. Then there is no continuation from the old to the new.

From the record of his dealings with me, it is clear that if you are unfortunate to be under his employment, you had better scrutinize every benefit that he promises not with a magnifying glass but with an electron microscope. If KAL is the de-facto employer under this flight service agreement and they are unwilling to lend a hand in enforcing the terms of the contract between the agent and the pilot, then who will? If anything KAL is the biggest culprit. They unilaterally imposed a 10% pay cut during the Asian economic crisis of 1997 to 1999 and again after “ 911 ”

Local Korean pilots enjoy a two year period to regain their license whilst expatriates are given one month. Both KAL and agent default willy nilly and there is little recourse except in a law court. Twice a year we have to endure 4 SIM sessions where if the roles were reversed the FSB instructors wouldt have difficulties performing up to their elevated standards.

Attempts to change agents after the expiry of the 5 year term was denied me even if It was proven that defaults occurred during the tenure. A couple of US based pilots request to move from BIU was approved. KAL aero medical issues FAA medical certification but does not necessarily follow FAA medical standards and guidelines. They follow a far more stringent guidelines and limitations. Add to this list is the long commute time of some 4 hours between ICN airport and downtown Seoul hotel and the rest periods between flights looks unrestable. Finally the Korean FO who used to be quite friendly gradually turned more militant and non compliant.

When you add these negative factors whilst in the employ of KAL, what are your chances of staying on the job for the next 5 years? A cumulative effect of these stressors would compromise your safety level on duty. Watch out Brothers, you are a target out there.

Hope that by sharing some of my experience and thoughts with you ,all who are still currently flying can survive longer. Finally any advice on how I can enforce Ali to cough up the compensation would be welcome.

Perhaps I need a lawyer based in Texas to enforce the terms of the insurance as the case has to be heard in a Texas district court. Anybody out there knows some lawyers operating out of this state?

Thank you for hearing me out. Those of you who have shared a few moments with me. Well keep on flying and keep on smiling. Adios boys!!

Yours truly,

Angry downed flyer
sunwind is offline  
Old 17th Aug 2002, 03:47
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 8,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In the majority of the state-owned airlines where I have worked, have always provided my own health/accident insurance (BlueCross/Blue Shield, worldwide coverage) and would personally advise others to do likewise. You absolutely cannot depend on contractors or foreign carriers.
In only one case did I use the company provided coverage (SQ, long time ago) and the service received (American Intnl Group) was superb.
411A is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.