Facebook COO: I Was Booked On Asiana Flight 214

Asiana Flight 241

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was originally supposed to be on the flight that crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport yesterday:

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said she had planned to take the flight that crashed on landing in San Francisco on Saturday.

Sandberg decided to switch to another airline in order to use reward miles, she said in a poston her Facebook page.

“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 wrote. “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.”

Eun achieved some notoriety in the wake of yesterday’s crash by being, as far as we can tell, the first photos of the crash 777-200:

Eun’s photo made it around the world, many times no doubt, within a very short period of time, and was among the first pieces of evidence of what happened yesterday to be made public.

Sandberg’s story is one you hear every now and then when something like this. A missed connection, a meeting that runs late, or getting stuck in traffic, and someone misses being part of a tragic event, sometimes by a matter of minutes.

Reports this morning indicate that two people, both middle school students from China coming to the US for a summer camp program, died in the crash while some 182 were injured to varying degrees. Tragic all around, but on the whole not nearly as bad as it could have been.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. I’m glad fate placed Ms. Sandberg on another aircraft, but why is anybody paying any attention to her?

    99.3485% of the passengers on that plane survived. Had she been on-board, it’s very likely Facebook wouldn’t be looking for a new top executive today.

    Thoughts and prayers for the two Chinese families who lost their teenage daughters. I care more for them than I’ll ever for an attention-grabbing executive who decided she was better off using frequent flyer miles on United.

  2. Tony W says:

    Wow! Somebody important (from the 1%) was almost on the flight!

    As Allan Bourdius says, I’ll reserve my sympathy for the actual victims, not the attention-grabbing media hounds.

  3. The Sandberg story was the hook I used to write about the crash itself.

    Otherwise, there really no reason for a blog to cover an event like this. Breaking News is for Twitter and the cable network.

  4. You can do better than that Doug. How about using the robustness of the 777 and the men and women of Boeing that designed and built it that in two runway approach crashes (to include BA38 in 2008) the aircraft type has kept alive 457 of the 459 people on board?

    That’s a story.