HUH: 26 Thai Airways Staff Accused Of Faking Death For Funeral Allowance

Filed Under: Thai

My gosh, this is grim… or something.

The National Thailand reports on a complaint that has been filed with Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division by Thai Airways’ Savings Cooperative for Employees. The claim? Thai Airways employees are faking their deaths in order to take advantage of funeral allowances… but then they keep working at the airline.

20 members of Thai Airways’ Savings Cooperative for Employees (and their lawyers) are urging an investigation into some members who have used fake death certificates to receive funeral allowances that the company has promised.

Weerayut Thuankong, a representative for the cooperative, said the following:

“The cooperative has found that the number of members filing for funeral allowance has increased suspiciously over several years. We checked the evidence they submitted and found that the death certificates appeared to be fake, as the persons declared dead are still working for the company.

We only have evidence until 2013, but we believe there could be more members who have committed this fraud before that, so we are asking the police to launch a full investigation.”

Over two dozen Thai Airways staff have allegedly faked their death

Looking at evidence dating back to 2013, it’s being alleged that there have been at least 26 fraudulent cases, which have caused an estimated 14 million THB (~467,000 USD) in damages to the company. That’s an average of ~18,000 USD per employee who filed.

Thai Airways is currently in the process of being reorganized, as the airline is in bankruptcy protection. Corruption has run rampant at the airline for years, and a former Thai Airways chairman was even recently jailed over excess baggage fees.

But this is… next level? Apologies if I’m missing something obvious here, but you’re telling me that Thai Airways has been paying funeral allowances for employees that still work at the company many years later? And it took years for this to be investigated? I have no words.

(Tip of the hat to JRL)

  1. Show some sympathy for them! For over a year they get paid only 30% of their base salary — without any allowances, and without the significant “flight bonus” (don’t know the official term in English). Some aren’t allowed to resign from their jobs because then TG forfeits their pensions

  2. @ Endre — Except this dates as far back as 2013. I was initially sympathetic about the whole thing when I assumed this had all happened during the current pandemic (not that it excuses what they did), but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  3. If I read correctly, the perpetrators defrauded an employee cooperative, not Thai Airways the company. In other words, they defrauded other members of the Cooperative which presumably are other Thai Airways employees. A Cooperative is a separate entity from the airline. In SE Asia, it is normal to have an Employee Cooperative formed within company with a large number of workforce. The Cooperative collects monthly dues from members and usually acts as a hybrid credit union / insurance company.

  4. Thailand’s lèse-majesté statutes prevent me from commenting.
    Having said that, I love it here.


  5. I guess this is to be expected with all the corruption that exists within the business. I know that they are paid quite poorly but this just begs disbelief –

  6. Now I understand why they are more expensive than any other airline flying from Europe to BKK. They need the money to pay for those allowances.

  7. I have zero sympathy for these lowlifes; they give their decent and honest colleagues, of whom there are many, a bad reputation. TG FAs are on a very good wicket: salaries are very substantial by local standards, and remarkably…probably unsustainably…generous with the seniority system.
    Unfortunately a few crooks have learned from their corrupt senior management just how easy it is to milk the system.
    It’s the LCC FAs in Thailand who are more deserving of our sympathy: eg, those flying for Jetstar , BKK-MEL-BKK, are on a pittance minimum wage, ‘dining’ on instant noodles in a dumpy airport motel on their layovers.

  8. So, even if true, it’s likely that death benefits are run by a different arm of the company that didn’t cross-check against payroll registers. It isn’t an application you submit to your immediate supervisor and then show up to work the next week! Also, these folks aren’t likely stewardesses working in business class cabins (as the picture implies) and could be low wage baggage handlers or airport staff making $5000 a year. Doesn’t justify anything but that’s several years’ salary.

  9. Love how you have a pic of their business class cabin with the following caption: “Over two dozen Thai Airways staff have allegedly faked their death”

    I mean sure, why not…

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Register here to save your space.