The fact that a bird can take down an airbus was beyond my knowledge before this incident. There are many (outside of passengers) who may now fear flying due to the incident, which affects the business of US Airways. The PR of how the airline handles the incident contributes to the business of US Airways as well.
This is not simply a matter of, "instead of giving the money to the passengers, give it to AIDS research". This, unfortunately, is a matter of PR that contributes to the bottom line and sustainability of the business (US Airways). Jason is right to suggest that putting a limit on the Chairman Club(which seems elitist anyway) is a PR no-no. Offering something like free flights solves many problems, requires little upfront cash, and would help them deal with any other aftermath in a positive light/spin.
After all, it is the corporate health of many 'American' companies like US Airways that provide much of the charity means necessary to combat poverty, cancer, aids, etc. I agree that those matters are more important, but there is indeed a symbiotic relationship in the background that is related.
I think that US Airways missed a great opportunity to associate a new, caring image with their brand. No matter what they included in the package, they were not setting a precedent, so any future expenses that would occur in similar situations would be nil. I agree with you on the cash portion - from a compensation perspective, these people survived and suffered no monetary loss. However, they should have been compensated through other means. I would have suggested they offer the passengers free domestic (at least) air travel for the rest of their lives. They could have limited the frequency, but they would likely have made the raw cost back through companion tickets (i.e. friends and family). They certainly could never bargain for better advertising in the wake of the accident, and would make back the 'cost' of the travel many times over.