Thai Airways Tries To Cover Logo On Crashed Plane, Gets Egg On Face Instead

from the the-cover-up-is-always-worse-than-the-crime dept

There's a saying that goes: the coverup is always worse than the crime. It's a sort of catchall phrase that can be applied to the Streisand Effect for the way in which a group's inability to assume proper responsibility vaults their transgression into the limelight in a way it otherwise would not have, while simultaneously causing them to look petty, callous, or devious. The point is, as most of us adults have learned, that when you're caught doing something wrong your best bet is to readily accept the blame and begin working on rebuilding your brand. If you don't, you look like a jerk.

Speaking of which, Thai Airways is suddenly looking like a jerk. The airline seems to have a problem keeping the landing gear working on its planes as of late. After a crash in Hong Kong two weeks ago, another Thai Airways Airbus plane suffered faulty landing gear and injured 14 people when it skidded onto a Bangkok runway. Then, because apparently the company is run by junior high school children, they sent a crew out to the plane to hastily paint over the company logo on the tail-section, even as the rest of the plane was garbed in easy-to-identify company colors.
Today, the plane was seen resting on grass next to the runway with its evacuation slides still deployed and the Thai Airways name and logo hastily covered up.

The move to black-out the logo may have been a response to last night's incident coming less than two weeks after 20 passengers were injured when a Thai Airways flight hit severe turbulence as it was descending to Hong Kong's airport. Although the logo was unable to be seen, the plane's airline colours were unmistakable and easily compared to Thai Airways jets taking off or landing in the vicinity, which happens quite a bit in Bangkok.
If this all seems eerily familiar, it's because you used to pull this exact same move... when you were five years old. You know what I'm talking about: you're wrist deep in the chocolate cake mom cooked for your sister, she catches you in the act, and you put your hands over your eyes. Ah ha, problem solved! If you can't see her, she obviously can't see you!

Except it doesn't work like that of course and now the news is filled with reports of Thai Airways trying to shirk their responsibility for yet another crash with the kind of move Sesame Street teaches you not to pull. Enjoy that Streisanding, folks! Think about how many more people now know not to fly your planes!


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:13pm

    Absolute best part...

    Has got to be the un'blanked' airplane with the exact same paint-job in the background, as though whatever bonehead ordered the hasty paint-job forgot that all of their planes have the same paint-style, making the logo pretty redundant when it comes to identification.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    I saw this and laughed so hard I broke another plane.

    I wonder who was so stupid to think this was a good idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Obviously....Tim is wrong (sorry...I like Tims writing).

    Obviously the airline is avoiding frivolous lawsuits. People will get off the plane and try to sue...but the lack of ownership will prevent proper documents.

    Problem solved. But..they should have used TP. Easier to explain

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Mike Brown (profile), Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Re:

    I'm pretty sure all those passengers already knew what airline they were flying, and have their boarding passes to prove it. No worries though, they'll get compensation for their inconvenience in the form of free tickets.

    Since this is evidently their standard operating procedure, you'd think they would keep giant tarps on hand to throw over the wreckage of their planes. That way they can literally cover up accidents, without damaging the paint job.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Namel3ss (profile), Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    That blacking out..

    Looks like someone took the pic and used the fat brush in MS Paint to do the blacking out.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    These aren't the planes you're looking for...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Highwire, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    Air Canada has done this too

    Air Canada does this too. They claim it's a standard international convention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    Screw Popcorn

    Need to start investing in Sharpies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    dfgdfg, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    This is common practice throughout the world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    aster, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Surely they could have painted over with purple and white in respective areas thus not making it look like a hatchet job.

    "And don't call me Shirley"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    athe, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 4:03pm

    Even better...

    Is the Thai Airways plane taking off in the background.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    we all do it....when selling a car, we buy touch up paint to cover the scratches....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Sep 11th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Re:

    Got other examples?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Linsay, Sep 11th, 2013 @ 10:18pm

    It's an NSA aircraft, it's been redacted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Manok, Sep 12th, 2013 @ 12:35am

    I don't understand the fuzz... This is common practice, and happens all the time.

    Instead of having a big (negative) ad sign right next to the runway for a few weeks, where 100% of the people could see the airline's name, and which would be imprinted on their memories; now only 10% recognizes it, and another 10% is curious enough to find out.

    Big difference... it seems like a smart thing to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 12th, 2013 @ 12:53am

    Re:

    Different scenario. This would be like painting over your registration plate so that you can pretend to the other guy's insurance company that you weren't involved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 12th, 2013 @ 1:15am

    Re:

    I keep seeing this claim, but nobody's bothered to cite it - do you have such a link?

    "Big difference... it seems like a smart thing to do."

    I disagree. The other branding on the aircraft is clearly visible. If this is common practice, it would do nothing to stop me from noticing, although I admit I'm a frequent flyer. But, most airlines spend a lot of money making sure their branding is visible and recognisable across the whole plane, not just the tail. Hiding and hoping that people won't remember the crashed plane is not a great way of doing things, IMHO.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2013 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re:

    I think he was making a percentage argument. Only few people in the airport will care enough to find out what company has caused the wreckage they can see in the airport. If the plane cannot be escorted to a hangar, it makes sense to sign in blood and hide in shame for the weeks where the wreckage is still out in the open.

    That they can get more press time is another story, which makes questioning the effectiveness very valid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    JJ Joseph, Sep 12th, 2013 @ 2:44am

    Logo coverup

    Don't get too excited. Airlines have always done this. It's nothing new or scandalous, it's just the way that wrecks are processed. Once the wreck starts being transferred from one party to another (almost immediately), the logo is gone. The actual wreckage could hang around the airport for years. Eventually the wreckage is no longer controlled by Thai Airways, so the logo is gone.

    The reason the the media is getting so excited is that plane crashes used to be a regular event, so nobody paid any attention to the logos being painted over. Nowadays, plane crashes are extremely rare, so painting over the logo has become a spectacular non-event.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 12th, 2013 @ 3:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Only few people in the airport will care enough to find out what company has caused the wreckage they can see in the airport."

    But that's my point. I can recognise a plane without seeing the tail fin, and those companies have spent millions branding their planes to do just that - be recognisable at a distance even if part of the plane is obscured. At least one airline I'm familiar with (Easyjet) has spent a lot of money trying to protect a single colour (orange) for this express reason.

    As noted in the article, anyone familiar with the Thai Airways branding design will know it's a Thai plane even with the logos blacked out, and those who aren't so familiar can see similar enough planes in operation to put 2 and 2 together.

    I simply can't see how this would make any difference to any remotely interested traveller, unless they fly so infrequently that they don't care (and thus aren't exactly their target customer to begin with) or don't care at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    Re: Logo coverup

    I don't recall any US airline ever doing this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Ed, Sep 12th, 2013 @ 6:19am

    I had this explained to me once...

    An Air Canada employee explained this to me once. Apparently, as soon as a plane crashes, it becomes property of the company that insured it.

    Hence, it's no longer an Air Canada plane, and so the logo is removed as efficiently as possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 12th, 2013 @ 6:42am

    Re: I had this explained to me once...

    That *almost* makes sense, at least as far as it makes more sense than scrambling to pretend that a specific airline didn't cause the crash. But, it still seems rather wasteful, and (AFAIK) unique in that case.

    I mean, you don't see people scrambling to remove Ford branding if a Focus is trashed at the side of the road, or teams sent to remove company branding from a truck that's careened off the side of the road despite being written off. You might argue cleanup time is different, but the plane is still the insurance company's property whether or not it still has the previous owner's logos while that happens. Curious.

    I can't think of any other situation where removing a previous owner's branding happens before the mess is cleared up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Sep 12th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    If this all seems eerily familiar, it's because you used to pull this exact same move... when you were five years old. You know what I'm talking about: you're wrist deep in the chocolate cake mom cooked for your sister, she catches you in the act, and you put your hands over your eyes. Ah ha, problem solved! If you can't see her, she obviously can't see you!

    Your mom was the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Tral? That explains so much! ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Coverup?

    There's many examples. Try Southwest Airlines flight 1248:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southwest-Airlines-Flight-1248/138178932876160

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Pedro, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 4:20am

    Crash in Hong Kong

    What crash in Hong Kong? Did you mean INCIDENT in Hong Kong? A crash has well defined parameters by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Please don't be write in tabloid style. Otherwise, good article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    omg!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Re-Born, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 11:53pm

    is it common?

    is it common to do this. or it is technical thing to do to avoild some laws stuff?






    http://re-bornmask.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This