I’m sure some of you read my recent post on those folks who were “trapped on the tarmac” for nine hours.
The Continental flight operated by ExpressJet was heading to Minneapolis when it was diverted to nearby Rochester due to storms, and – no one was allowed off the plane! The small jet was packed with crying babies, hungry adults and one stinking toilet.
According to ExpressJet -passengers weren’t allowed off the plane because “that was not provided as an option by ground services personnel at the airport.”
According to today’s Joe Sharkey column, the Rochester airport manager says, not true: “a diverted Delta aircraft landed after the Continental flight and went to a gate, where passengers were let off and sent by chartered bus to Minneapolis”.
Meantime, Continental is sending apologies and refunds to those affected by this, but – c’mon - why is this still happening?
Somebody messed up.
On Friday night, a Continental flight (operated by ExpressJet) from Houston to Minneapolis-St. Paul was supposed to get to the Twin Cities a little after midnight. But there were storms in the area, and the flight was diverted to Rochester, Minnesota.
And they didn’t let anyone off the plane – for the next nine hours!
One of the 47 passengers described the 50-seater plane as a “sardine can”- complete with crying babies, and a single restroom – that started to smell.
Between the two airlines, the explanations for this grim incident are somewhat murky – and amusing, too — if you weren’t on the plane. Keep reading, to see the “explanations”…
Not Again! Trapped on the Tarmac for Nine Hours
The senate is expected to vote today on legislation that would force airlines to let passengers off their planes – if they’ve been waiting three hours for take off.
Such “trapped on the tarmac” episodes typically take place when airlines are waiting out terrible snowstorms or other obnoxious weather.
The airlines however, are opposed to the legislation: they want the flexibility of being able to take off the moment, say, a break in the weather appears – and if they have to wait to round up all the passengers and get them back onboard, that “break” can disappear.
Hmmm. As one who’s spent his fair share of time sitting on an idling airplane, I can see both sides – and in fairness to the airlines, they’ve done a much, much better job in recent years of getting people off planes – without any legislation.
That said, its seems to me their change of heart wouldn’t have happened without some horrendous publicity about people trapped on tarmacs for hours without food or water.
Readers – please sound off on this.