Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Nearly Boarded Flight That Crashed in San Francisco

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News Posted: Sun, Jul 7 2013 8:44 AM
As you're probably well aware by now, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 bound from South Korea crash-landed onto the runway at San Francisco International Airport yesterday, killing two passengers and injuring dozens more. Including the crew, there were over 300 people on board the flight, and had things gone to plan, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer (COO), Sheryl Sandberg, would have been one of them. Fortunately for her, she switched flights at the last minute in order to accumulate miles on United.

Sandberg revealed in a Facebook post that she was originally scheduled to fly on Flight 214, but ended up on a different airline that landed 20 minutes prior.

"Taking a minute to be thankful and explain what happened. My family, colleagues Debbie Frost, Charlton Gholson and Kelly Hoffman and I were originally going to take the Asiana flight that just crash-landed," Sandberg posted to Facebook. "We switched to United so we could use miles for my family's tickets. Our flight was scheduled to come in at the same time, but we were early and landed about 20 minutes before the crash. Our friend Dave David Eun was on the Asiana flight and he is fine. Thank you to everyone who is reaching out - and sorry if we worried anyone. Serious moment to give thanks."

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash
Image Source: Flickr (vsivera)

All 307 people on board the flight that went down are now accounted for. According to ongoing coverage by CBS News, San Francisco General Hospital said it received 53 patients, including 26 children. Six of them were reported in critical condition. The two people who perished were both 16-year-old girls from China.

It's still not clear what caused the crash, though the FBI has said there have not been any indications of terrorism at this time.
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FreeJet replied on Sun, Jul 7 2013 9:52 AM

Well it's a good thing nobody "important" good hurt or killed because that would have been tragic.

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We are in no way implying anything of the sort, if that's what you're insinuating.

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Micrology replied on Sun, Jul 7 2013 10:24 AM

Baffles me that media feel the need to do pieces like this. Are we supposed to feel sympathetic that she was supposed to be on that flight but at the last minute got on a different one? Like its of any importance that the world knows. "Oh, Facebook COO nearly died today, lets all gather around and say a prayer for her" - people should be ashamed.

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I completely disagree, given the context. It's not about a feeling of sympathy for the person who escaped tragedy. Rather, this is a tech oriented site, and the fact that a major player in the tech industry nearly boarded a flight that crashed is, to me (and many others, considering the story was trending on Google), interesting. It's a similar concept to knowing someone personally who escaped a major catastrophe, only in this sense, we 'know' Sandberg as a tech figure.

Anyone viewing a piece like this as a slight against the unfortunate folks who were actually on the plane when it crashed, especially the two young people who perished, is taking it in the wrong context. We're saddened it happened, regardless of who was on the plane.

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mhenriday replied on Mon, Jul 8 2013 11:10 AM

Sorry, Paul, «boarded a flight that crashed» is news, «almost boarded a flight that crashed» is not news....


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