July 14, 2013 6:00 PM
When the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 goes to court, the potential payouts will probably be vastly different for Americans and passengers from other countries, even if they were seated side by side as the jetliner crash-landed. An international treaty governs compensation to passengers harmed by international air travel ? from damaged luggage to crippling injuries and death. The pact is likely to close U.S. courts to many foreigners, forcing them to pursue claims in Asia and elsewhere, where lawsuits are rarer, harder to win and offer smaller payouts. A Bay Area TV station that aired four fake names of the pilots of the Boeing 777 that crash-landed at San Francisco airport may face legal action from Asiana Airlines. The airline says that it is also mulling legal action against the National Transportation Safety Board, which admitted that a summer intern confirmed those fake names to the station, KTVU-TV. There is no evidence at this stage that a fire that broke out on a Boeing Dreamliner at London's Heathrow Airport on Friday was linked to the aircraft's batteries, Britain's Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Saturday. The AAIB said, "There has been extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage, a complex part of the aircraft, and the initial investigation is likely to take several days."