160 comments on “It happened again at JFK – post your photos, tell your stories and help us reach out…

  • These are flights that have arrived at the airport, and cannot get to a gate.

    OK, fine, the gates are filled with aircraft because of the weather.

    But the aircraft in question, filled with passengers. Why can’t it be towed somewhere, anywhere. A maintenance area, anyplace. Roll up stairs to bring the passengers to ground level.

    If there’s delay getting luggage off, fine, but for Pity’s sake, why do the passengers have to be kept on the aircraft for eleven hours? Get them OUT of the aircraft and INTO a building.

    Whatever risk there is to bringing people onto the tarmac has to be offset by the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus keeping people in coach seats for eleven hours.

  • Has any of these incidents resulted in frustrated passengers or a group of passengers activating the door and the emergency slide?

    What would be the implication of such an act, were it to happen?

  • Has any of these incidents resulted in frustrated passengers or a group of passengers activating the door and the emergency slide?

    What would be the implication of such an act, were it to happen?

  • Absolutely unbelievable. A passenger should not be expected to wait this long. I certainly hope they were given free meals by the carrier, at a minimum.

  • Your proposed “Bill of Rights” still allows for planes to sit on the tarmac for up to 3 hours. That’s unacceptable. Bring that figure down below and hour and I’ll sign your petition.

  • I was just going to post on this site the story I just read about JetBlue passengers. What a joke! At least those people are getting refunds and free flights.

  • Hint: Do not fly in the Winter. If you do…PLAN on this type of delay and stop being such babies about it. Take along some energy bars, crackers, or fruit strips.

    Think of the worse…takeoffs in an ice storm on slippery runways. Get ovver it.

  • I cannot imagine sitting on an aircraft stranded for that amount of time. I would be willing to sign the petition if you bring that figure down below an hour, that is plenty of time for an airplane to be cleared for take off. This is way out of control, there is no excuse for it and I hope that Americans will be called to action against the airline industry.

  • Be careful what you ask for and expect. $99 tickets come at a price. Airlines run very lean these days with minimum staff on the best days and severly impacted by weather on worst days. Gov’t regulation will only increase price and increase cancellations as airlines realise it is easier to comply by just canceling without trying to operate…..

  • Here’s what the spineless coward “Anonymous” said on February 15, 2007 1:02 PM:

    “Hint: Do not fly in the Winter. If you do…PLAN on this type of delay and stop being such babies about it. Take along some energy bars, crackers, or fruit strips.

    “Think of the worse…takeoffs in an ice storm on slippery runways. Get ovver it.”

    Whoever you are, go f-ck yourself. And “ovver” has one “r”, retard.

    Whoever he is, he must have voted a straight Republican ticket in the last mid-terms.

  • This happened to me on a Continental flight. We were only held for two hours, but this was AFTER a five hour refueling stop where we were held on the plane. No meals were served between our initial diversion and final de-planing, some twelve hours later. I expected nightmarish air travel at some point in my life but I felt for the kids, pregnant women and those with special needs who didn’t eat for 12 hours. You go.

  • Agree – three hours is far too long to sit on a tarmac. Especially when airlines board passengers and push them out of the gate knowing that air control has not given approval for their departure because of known delays (weather, congestion, etc.)

    Passengers suffer (who cares?) so airlines can attempt to maximize schedules. As far as removing passengers from a plane stuck on the tarmac – very lame excuses from the airlines on why this does not happen (safety, weather, blah-blah). The real reason: it costs money. It should cost them MORE money not to take passenger overall safety, comfort and suffering for granted.

  • We need a boston tea party of sorts with the airlines. How about hundreds of class-action lawsuits, boycotts, and major media coverage of every transgression.

    These corporate hogs need to be hit where it hurts: their pocketbooks. They treat us like crap and we act like sheep, letting them suck on our economic teat while with their hands they are disemboweling us and destroying families.

    It needs to stop. They need to be held accountable. Death to the capitalists!

  • If you forced somebody to stay in one spot for hours, it would be called false imprisonment. If a terrorist or criminal did it, it would be called a hostage situation. Why do we have to allow airlines to treat us in ways that would be called illegal in any other circumstance??

  • Initiating an Airline Passenger’s Bill Of Rights is an excellent idea. However,having once waited onboard at the Newark airport for approximately three hours, part of the time with the air conditioning off, I would strongly recommend shortening the maximum time deemed to be acceptable.

  • i actually think that if i had been one of the passengers on that jetblue flight, i wouldve done one or more of the following:
    a) faked illness/injury to get paramedics
    b) called 911 and simply said we were being held hostage
    c) formed a group of fellow passengers and physically overtook the plane and/or activated emergency slides/shoots

    physicall illness is a major factor after a certain point. if this behavior by the airlines isnt criminal, i dont know what is.

  • Not just JetBlue – The plane my friend was stuck on for 10 hours last night was an AirChina flight. After being stuck in the plane on the ground for 10 hours, my friend and the rest of the passengers had another 15 hours of flight timeto Beijing! AirChina has made no mention of any refunds or compensation.

  • Been there on several occasions. Time for our idiot elected officials to protect the rights of consumers from idiot airline employees. How do the people making these decisions get through a day. Shameful…..Dilbert in action…..

  • Couldnt these passengers hire a lawyer and sue for “false imprisonment”…since they are being helped without there will to leave ?


  • Financial penalties will cause the airlines to compromise passenger safety in order to maintain their bottom lines. e.g. deplaning onto icy moveable stairs and walking across a the apron in a blizzard. You know that as soon as someone slips JetBlue/AA/etc. will have a $$$ lawsuit for a slightly twisted ankle thrown at them. 11 hours is clearly extreme. Air Traffic Control rather than JetBlue are to blame. They control the planes on the ground as well as the air. The FCC should be mandated to take action to prevent such lengthy waits particularly given the extremely short plane-deplane timeframe we know the budget carriers can achieve. Shift empty planes out the way. IDIOTS.

  • For the person whose comment was “get over it,” I have been on planes (Delta & American Airlines) stranded on the tarmac for 2 and 3 hours… no weather, no icy or wet runway… just flights overscheduled. It’s rediculous and it’s wrong!

  • I was on one of the Jet-Blue flights that sat on the tarmac for over nine hours (flight 153 to Orlando).

    The passengers on this flight were in good spirits, despite broken bathrooms and one small bottle of water offered to passengers over the nine hour stay.

    The flight crew was very apologetic and didn’t blame “the weather’ on us being stuck on the tarmac for 9+ hours. They recognized that Jet-Blue’s management of the situation was at issue. Our second pilot (we actually had two pilots, as our first pilot “timed-out” during our nine hour stay and we had to go back to the gate to get a different crew) said in his 6.5 years working for Jet-Dry, this is the only time he is embarassed to be working for this airline.

    The worst part of the ordeal was when my family of five went to the ticket counter to rebook our tickets. The ticket agent said she would need to charge us to rebook our tickets. Now, that’s insanity.

  • The terrorist detainees in Gitmo are treated one helluva lot better than airline passengers!!!

    Where’s Amnesty International when you need them?

  • After hour #5, you would think that someone in charge at Jet Blue would have called and reqested a shuttle bus for the passengers. And you know, I’m suprised that with a plane full of New Yorkers, they weren’t forced to do just that!

  • Yeah – what would have happened if a group of passengers opened the emergency door and slid out? I would have really considered that as an option. I would have had an anxiety attack from claustorophobia after a few hours.

  • Considering how much money the federal government has given the airlines to bail them out over the past few years, it’s time for the federal government to cash in that token.

    Force them to agree to a strict passenger rights bill, otherwise the airlines get no more federal money and they lose the right to have a court force unions to take paycuts.

  • I think I would have went insane if I was on a plane that long. I wasn’t stuck on a plane that long but back in march of 2003 I was strandded at the denver CO airport in a snow storm along with over 4,000 other people. We weren’t given any food vouchers or anything….my best friend and I lived off of pretzel bags and juice for 3 days. There were NO airport personell around and what people you did find, wouldn’t help you. Most of the people were rude as all get out…I eventually got really mad and had to get stern with one before I got any kind of answer.

    Something needs to be done for passengers rights…I think a bill of rights is a good idea!!!

  • We all can do something about this right now…go onto the Jetblue website, and under feedback, let them know that you will not ever fly them…

    All aircraft are equipped with stairs out of the rear of the plane–therefore they DO NOT need to have an open gate to deplane passengers…I’d love to hear why they did not do this!

  • I thought that you could not imprison persons without a fair trial – it seems that the airlines can make an arbitrary choice about it.

  • What about animals that are locked in the plane? Any of them die? What about very old or sick passengers? As a nurse, we know the PE and CHF can occur when sitting for long periods of time. When will the first deaths occur?

  • Despite the “conditions of carriage” in your ticket/contract with the airline, I don’t understand why people can’t sue for false imprisonment. Even tho by buying a ticket you make a contract that says you won’t sue: (1) the contract is a contract of adhesion (a take-it-or-leave-it contract in which you have no bargaining power for a service that is a necessity); (2) nobody could possibly expect that they agreed to be kept hostage on a plane for 11 hours wthout sufficient food, water, fresh air, or toilet, so the contract cannot be interpreted as you having agreed to that; (3) it seems that you cannot contract away your freedom or the courts should not enforce (there are many many many contract clauses that the courts have said they will not enforce, no matter how freely the parties entered into the agreement, contracts for slavery, contracts for high interest rates, contracts clause that say you agree not to discharge loan in bankruptcy, and so on). Where are the lawyers???? Start filing lawsuits today! There are much more iffy lawsuits filed all the time. If the passendgers sue every time this happens, it will stop happening, even if the lawsuits don’t win.

  • The question that no one else seems to be asking is at what point over the 3,5,7,11 hours of being held captive on a plane does the flight crew exceed their alloted hours for manning an aircraft??? I have been delayed several times waiting for an “approved air crew” to show up because the originally scheduled crew was over their allotted hours. This hasn’t been brought up as an issue, but there are very strict rules regarding the number of hours crew can work. Who is manning the clock on these crews?

  • I signed your petitition. I am traveling with my 4 yr old grand-daughter to Cancun in April. There is no way she could endure 11 hours of being held hostage, let alone 3. It does not sound like their commitment to bathroom facilities was fulfilled for JetBlue. There needs to be a class action lawsuit……..

  • i understand that there needs to be a certain amount of leeway delay-wise in order for an airline to safely conduct it’s business (especially in the winter), but no other business would be allowed to treat (paying) customers the way that airlines do year-round. customer service is deteriorating to unacceptable levels, and an incident like this could have ended much, much worse from a health standpoint – mere inconvenience aside.

  • What happens when a stranded passenger has chest pain, shortness of breath, even an anxiety attack ? I assume that the airline would then bring paramedics aboard (although that would do nothing for the remaining passengers). Does anyone know if any of these > 3 or 4 hour delays has resulted in medical evacuation of ill persons?

  • I get so tired of people grumbling about the cost of this or that, the quality of this or that, the service here or there, etc., etc., it makes me sick.

    If you’ve got a complaint…..vote with your purse…….stop going the places that give you bad service, bad food, bad quality or high prices.

    If you did that, they would eventually get the point or they’d go out of business.

  • My wife and I had a similar but not quite as infuriating experience not too long ago. We sat in a Continental plane at Chicago O’Hare for over 6 hours and the flight crew was nasty, unsympathetic, and very stingy when it came to distributing something as simple as water on a hot summer day; we were made to feel like criminals just for asking for fluids! We understood that thunderstorms were the reason for the delay but if it is known ahead of time that there will be a substantial delay of takeoff, say 2 hours or more, why don’t passengers have the right to disembark be it through a gate, stairs (a common method in many countries) or whatever? If there is a law against disembarking it is probably ill-conceived and it needs to be changed. If any other industry operated in this fashion it would be out of business in a month!

  • Believe me, I’m no fan of jetBlue, having worked for a competing airline and watched my pay and pension go in the tank.

    That being said, where is the government’s responsibility in this? I was passing through JFK on a rainy day last November on my way to D.C.. My 5:15 PM flight finally pushed back from the gate at 7:30 PM, and I settled in for the short flight to Baltimore. However, I soon realized it wasn’t going to be a short flight when the captain announced that we were number FORTY FIVE for takeoff, and she would give us an update every half hour or so.

    So there we sat, for the next 2 1/2 hours, burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel while we followed a conga line of airplanes all around the airport. I had the thought it would be quicker if we exited the airport and taxied all the way to D.C.

    The point is, the fiasco that is our airport and air traffic control system is the responsibility of the government, not the airlines. I can’t blame my airline for making me number 45 for takeoff.

    Speaking of the government, where is the outrage over the treatment people received on the Pennsylvania highway system? Will there be a traveller’s bill of rights protecting me when Caltrans fails to keep I-80 open over Donner summit?

  • It is obvious that whoever posted ‘get over it’ doesn’t fly very often. I fly everyweek. You have to understand that not eveyone on a plane has the constitution stay 11 hours in an extremely uncomfortable airline seat. I am 6’8″ tall. I want to see you sit in a childs seat for 11 hours and tell me how your neck and back feel. Not to mention elderly and diabetic. Get a clue.

  • Can’t the passengers involved in this file a class action suit against the airline? Unlawful imprisonment or something like that sounds about right. The airlines and the government will only respond to something when it burns their wallets. I’ve signed the petition because anything is better than no response, but nothing will come of it.

  • To whoever said not to fly in winter, etc.: As the woman says in the paper today, “That’s el toro doo doo.” If a relative across the country falls ill and needs me, I’m flying regardless of the season.

    And if weather cancels the flight, so be it. But I am NOT sitting in a plane on the tarmac for hours. And if you try to make me, you had better have tranquilizers and restraints ready.

    This insane, inhumane, outrageous and insupportable treatment has got to stop!

  • Penalty box: I sat on an AA flight on the runway at EWR for 4.5 hours just because our pilot had complained to air traffic control that CO flights were being allowed to take off and land while other airlines’ planes were told the airport was closed by weather. We need rights.

  • I have seen some comments here about “Airlines not being regulated by a Government Agency” and therefore they should allow market forces to correct their bad behavior, as in “take your business elsewhere”. This is patently false.

    The Airline industry is a government approved Oligarchy.

    These companies are issued a permit to operate and are regulated by the FAA, TSA, DOT, DOC and other government agencies and yet they routinely collude to limit competition. limit government regulation in their industry, fix prices, and lower service levels while complaining that they can’t or shouldn’t submit to government control.

    There needs to be some acceptable levels of minimum service that airline companies need to operate within and I do not think it is unreasonable for the Government to regulate this just as they regulate the flight paths of the airplanes, maintenance inspections, flight operations, scheduling, terminal security or most all other aspects of the business of these companies and their operations.

    11 hours in a dark, musty airplane on the ground for what should have been only a 3 hour flight is outrageos – especially when the flights were cancelled after this “forced imprisonment”. The flight crews have complete control over what you can and cannot do on that plane – by law. Holding you there for ANY unreasonable length of time should be unlawful. They should not be able to pull back from the gate if they do not have the ability to take-off within a reasonable (30 minutes max) period of time.

    If a flight is re-routed – land – unload the passengers – and THEN MOVE THE AIRCRAFT to a holding area so that the next airplane can move in and unload. Don’t sit on the runway and hold people with no food, water, bathrooms or other necessities.

    When you step on a plane you are quite literally putting your life in the hands of the company and pilots.

    It is our right to demand that they treat people humanely and with a minimum level of standards.

  • It is amazing no one has died in one of these delays. Especially a diabetic – going without food and meds – or a cardiac patient from the stress. Airlines have so many regs about what people can bring on a plane that these customers can’t possibly carry enough meds & food to anticipate these kind of situations. Will it take a death and lawsuit to get the airlines to develop their own “code of ethics”. I use the term ethics because it is common sense human race ethics that should be followed here.

  • No matter if you fly in winter or summer it is unacceptable to let passenger sit this long. I dont care what amount it cost the airlines they make sufficient money of their passengers,let’s bring it even to less hours.

  • I signed the petition even though the 3 hour limit should be lower even more. Passengers should know that many airlines pay their pilots by the hour, starting when the cabin door is closed and ending with it is opened again. So the pilots are wracking up cash while you are sitting on the tarmac, and letting people off the plane affects their pay. Keeping passengers on a plane for 11 hours without food and other services is inhumane and must be stopped by law.

  • 11 hours is unbelievable and unacceptable. I agree with the earlier post of bringing the figure down under 3 hours and I’m sure there would be alot of people that would sign as 3 hours is still to long.

  • I once landed in France at DeGaulle airport
    to be told there was a 5 hour wait to board our plane to germany. It was 5 a.m. but we had a warm and delicious omelette in the terminal and then hours later, we had a lovely french lunch. We boarded our plane and took our hour and a half flight in great
    spirits. We walked, we rested, we ate well. This was done correctly.

  • I was stranded on the tarmac at the Denver airport because weather had caused the control tower in Minneaspolis, my destination, to lose power. We actually taxied to a gate and weren’t allowed to get off the plane. We sat there for 4 hours. My mother needed some water and went to the back where the flight attendants were hiding out and they gave her a couple of ounces of warmish water as they drank bottles of water out of small fridge. It sucked.

  • Being kept on the Tarmac for even 3 hours
    is too much. Letting passengers wait in the
    terminal rather than in the plane and on
    the tarmac is at least a better solution than
    being held captive on a plane with no access to food or clean toilets. This would
    require organization on the parts of the
    air control towers, airlines and and airports. It must be drummed into their
    heads and pocketbooks the passenger’s comfort counts. We cannot live in a country where we can be held against our will on an airline for 11 hours – those
    people were hijacked by incompetence.

  • I believe there should indeed be a “passengers bill of rights” when it comes to this sort of thing. We as consumers are “held hostage” so to speak, without recourse or other options.

  • I have used Jet Blue many times. I was once delayed for an hour on their plane while waiting for takeoff, and I thought that was a long time. I can’t imagine being stuck in a plane for 11 hours without getting somewhere!

  • The proposed “Bill of Rights” still allows for planes to sit on the tarmac for up to 3 hours. That is still way to long to be trapped on the tarmac, It should be no longer than an hour.
    we only have so many hours given to us in this life time and we should have to waste them trapped in a plane.

  • 3 hours is still to long, I couldn’t handle that. I’d probably flip out after an hour. I almost did once, but it was only just under an hour and during that whole time it was alot of work to keep from having an anxiety attack.
    and the fact I’m hypoglycemic would have been a big problem if they were’nt giving out food.
    Those poor people, It’s cruel that this is being allowed.

  • These airlines need to have more respect for their pansengers. These are the same companies pushing for user fees in general aviation when they can,t take care of their own customers.

  • I think you are all at fault for these travesties! If I had to spend any more than three hours on a grounded plane, I can assure you, I would be gladly escourted off the plane (albiet in handcuffs). What happened to good old fashioned civil disobeideince?!?! The fact is, most people are passive-agressive troglodites who will do anything to avoid cofrentation. Here’s my advice: If you’re ever on a grounded plane for more than 3 hours, raise HELL! They can only hold you as a terrorist for so long.

  • You know who ultimately is to blame for this? The passengers. Last time I checked, they have something called emergency exit doors on commercial aircraft. Why NO ONE chose to use them is beyond me. Did this idea not occur to ANYONE??? I can assure you, if I’m ever in this situation, I WILL get off the plane. They are welcome to arrest me after I “disembark” if they so desire, but I will NOT stay on the plane. Rules, regulations and laws were created to protect my freedom and yours, not to take it hostage. You will only be treated this way if you allow it to happen. So, if something like this happens to you, think for yourself and take action. Who knows, maybe some of the other sheep will follow.

  • I’m so glad we have un-educated people replying to some of these posts. I’m sorry but I have also been on many flights with massive delays out of Dallas, Atlanta, and Boston. But I do not find a reason to keep passengers on a flight for that long. If you fly in the winter than yes expect that, but don’t trap people on a aircraft for that long. I believe that most flight have infants and elderly which have needs. If you need to be at the terminal for that long; Than a place in line for departure has nothing to do with it when your in a winter storm. Your not leaving anytime soon… Get the passengers off the plane and give a new departure time. Simple as that. If you have a problem with that idea well maybe you should not fly at all. How about take a train or a bus. I’ll be more than happy to sign.

  • I was on an American Airlines flight in April 1996 from Dallas to Winnipeg with connections in Chicago. Despite the heavy rains and gusty winds in Dallas, the airline boarded us and pulled away from the gate. The plane literally “inched” across the runway–making very little distance from the original gate. Since many of us had connections departing Chicago that included meal service, many of us had chosen to skip lunch. When it became apparent that we would miss our connections out of Chicago since 4-5 hours after departure we were still queued on the runway in Dallas, a couple of the “hungrier” passengers proceeded to go to the galley (with no flight attendants in sight) and procured snacks and beverages. They proceeded down the aisles providing a much needed service to those among us who were hungry and thirsty. As the “hungry men” approached the front of the aircraft–the head flight attendant realized the seriousness of the situation and berated and threatened the two “criminals.” In a loud and unified voice, the passengers on the plane announced to the flight attendant that “the plane was ours.” With a look of defeat, she returned to the front of the plane, brought the rest of the flight attendants back to the galley and served us snacks and beverages.

    Our flight arrived in Chicago about 9 hours after we orginally left the gate in Dallas. The airline offered us rooms at a hotel at our expense. Since many of us had not planned on that additional expense and because we had to be at the airport 5 hours later to be rebooked, many of us declined the offer. We milled around for a while before it was finally determined that it might be a courteous gesture to set up cots for the stranded passengers. I remember the event well, because no sooner did the scores of passengers settle down for restless sleep on their cots, than a “sadistic” driver of a floor sweeper decided it would be great amusement to make numerous circles around the concourse full of cots with his loud, obnoxious machine. Our “travel hell” came with no apologies from the airline.

  • “Anonymous” claims that all planes have stairs in the back — what has that idiot been smoking??? The ONLY plane to have stairs in the back — the 727 — is no longer in service in this country. That’s the problem with some of these people. They think they know everything when the only thing they really care about is how cheap they can fly somewhere. Go ahead and open the doors and jump into the slides, then see how long it takes your attorney to get you out of a Federal lockup. The airlines would LOVE to have the passengers pull a stupid stunt like that, it makes the airline look innocent. When pasengers start caring about something other than how cheap the tickets are they will get the service they want. Until then they are just going to keep getting what they deserve.

  • I am for the Bill of Rights. I have sat on a plane a few times waiting for pilots to show up (America West) in Phoenix when it was over 100, no a/c, no one was aloud off even though we were sitting at the gate with the door open waiting on pilots. It was for over four hours and it was fricken HOT! And no one was aloud off. That was my worse next to a Continental plane taking off, the Capt. walking thru looking outside at the wings because the flaps would not recess completely then turning around and waiting over four and a half hours for mechanics to fix it and then waiting another two hours for a plane to fly from Houston to Denver to pick us up and fly back to Houston. Unbelievable how the airlines can get away with this crap and treat the passengers worse! And yes three hours is still too long!!!

  • Personally…we are such a “privileged” society that we need to have some kind of legislation to dictate difficult situations???? What a crock!! Let’s all just learn to “deal”…

  • People want to pay $79 to get to FL. What kind of service do you expect to get? 11 hrs on a plane is too long, but if you want those airfares, the airlines have to be minimum staffed with employees who aren’t experienced. Layoff experienced employees and hire contract workers at miminum wage. That is how you can get those $79 fares. Want better service, expect to pay more. Flying is a luxery, not a commodity. Want to go back to government regulations? Airfares were a lot higher before 1978 and deregulation. Back then, it was mainly businessmen and the more wealthy that traveled by air. You didn’t have the fat guy with the wife-beater T-shirt with the beer and pit stains taking off his flip-flops sitting next to you.

  • I understand weather related delays, and mechanical delays but when and it has happened the crew runs out of duty time then the crew decides to finally get to a gate so they can get off is retarded… but all along the passengers are inconvienced. Airlines should be sued for medical conditions that can result in blood pooling in the legs causing blood clots that could kill passengers from being imobile for so long. It is absurb to make passengers sit on a ramp for 2 hours or more. They can deplane and then reboard in 15 minutes when the conditions are favorable for a departure.

    Jack Hunt

  • When I flew East I was not allowed to take on my water bottle or my food in a container. Because of bad weather we sat for 8 hours in Denver the water ran out and no food and the bathrooms were over flowing and smelling bad the flight crew was tired and sleepy the air was bad and people were crying. We didn’t get any free tickets or refunds just a too bad punks so these people saying take water and food They don’t let you jerk

  • I am not surprised. Jetblue is so full of crap, and their flights are always delayed. I am convinced that they have less runway rights than other airlines, since they bill themselves as a discount airline–they also provide horrible “discount” service. I avoid flying jetblue as much as possible. In fact, anything less than a $200 difference will probably get me on another airline.

  • If Department of Transportation can close down state highways, get private vehicles off the roads why is it so difficult for airlines to decide to close runways? I the proposed Bill of Rights time of 3 hours is too long as well, I say no more than 2 hours, turn the plane around and go to the gate.
    I think those people who were stuck should sue for being held against their will the Eight Amendment…Cruel and Unusual punishment.

  • How and why are they gettin gaway with this? Isnt this a health hazard at the least !
    I have been held on the tarmac many times, it is not acceptable. Is this the airline that treats you like you are in first class ?Humanitarians, we dont lock up our dogs for that long !

  • Did any of these passenger check the weather before they traveled. In all reality delays happpen on a clear day. Airlines are not immortal (above the weather laws), plus most people do not want to pay for a passenger bill a rights, because we all want to fly for cheap, the cheaper the better. I feel for the people on those plans but travel is not what it was when the govt was in control, but is that the answer, regulation? If so get your wallet out.

  • Yes please, I’ll vote for anyone who makes air travel less hellish. Those people who are against laws regulating the airlines probably don’t have the means to fly anywhere and so they just sit at home watching Maury.

  • Good Afternoon
    I want to know what would happen to Me If I just opened the side exit and slid out and walked back to the terminal?? Just how much could be done If The WHOLE planeload of passengers. I am afraid of tight spaces and cannot fly over two hours.
    Juneau Alaska

  • My brother was supposed to board a Delta flight from Boston at 10:30AM today, trying to take his wife and 3 kids out west for a ski vacation. He was informed that the plane was over-booked and only four of them could get on the plane. He sent his family on and as of 6:30 pm tonight he was still at the airport waiting for another plane. Great way to start a vacation! The airlines in general don’t think of the traveling public as customers. It is high time that we stop acting like sheep and fight back. When were they given power over the public anyway? Several years back I got stuck in a plane on the tarmack. When I insisted they let me off, I was told that if I got off I wouldn’t be allowed back on. I got off.
    I’ll sign your petition but I can’t imagine the congress doing anything that doesn’t directly effect them (let’s hope the dems will).

  • After reading some of these I would ask any other passengers if They wanted to fight. I am a Disabled Vet with only one leg let them try to stop me.

  • I was on one of the JetBlue planes that was supposed to go to Chicago. My complaint with them is that after sitting on the plane for roughly four hours and boarding the plane three hours late, we were told to get our luggage and CALL THEM to reschedule. I’ve been trying for two days to get through and they hang up on you when you call. I don’t know who they are talking to because there is a message that says this call will terminate. how do they expect you to rebook? They have all of my info. I have not been called to reschedule.
    Our crew gave what appeared to be a good try. But the lack of customer service is amazing.

  • I was at JFK arriving from my honeymoon from Punta Cana when AA canceled my flight, the next flight was also cancelled next day and the carrier refused to help me out with the 2nd. night of hotel or any meal even though they could noy assure I could travel until the 20th!! can you imagine that?!?!Thank God I am not disable and I can drive cause that was the only option I had to get home that day.

  • I would suggest that the proposed “Bill of Rights” include the rights of animals who are traveling in the cabin or in cargo. Along with the elderly, disabled, children and others who have special needs, animals need to be protected in such situations. Having to keep them in such confined spaces for 11 hours is cruel and inhuman.

  • Unbelievable. 11 hours, this is just one more example of how good old fashioned commen sence has gone out the window. So what if a plane loses its’ place in line. NONE of us want to waste 11 hours of our lives that we will NEVER get back waiting for something thats’ clearly not going to happen. I firmly believe that if a plane can’t get off the ground within an hour of seating the last passenger, then the airline has the obligation to have another comprable safe aircraft ready to load the passengers and luggage and take off. If you want me to sign this bill, just change the parameters from three hours to one hour and introduce some comprable financial consequences for the airline(s) involved.

  • Folks, Logistically speaking it was a nightmare for JetBlue and the passengers. All of the ground equipment was frozen to the ramp, and if you could have started the pushback tugs to go tow the airplane, you would be towing a 165,000 pound plane on a sheet of ice. I would not want to do that. JetBlue has a can do attitude, they don’t cancel flights when everyone else is, and this time it bit them in the behind.

    As far as a 3 hour rule…taxi times during the big international push can reach 2:45-3 hours, does that mean the flights should be cancelled? even when nothing is wrong?

    Remember, JetBlue has consistently been ranked the #1 airline for it’s outstanding customer service the last 5 years by JD Powers and Conde Nast Magazine.

    The CEO said they wanted to get the people off at the 4 hour mark, but plans A, B, C, D, and E all failed. It was a horrible day and was handled horribly, but that does not make JetBlue a bad airline. They did the right thing and gave everyones money back, and in addition gave them a free round trip ticket….I wonder what delta did for their less publicised flights that were stuck for 10 hours.

    –a JetBlue Frequent Flier and Trueblue member

  • If the president of the airline, or the Air Transport Association,
    were to sit in my office for more than three hours without food, drink, or limit bathroom availability, you can be sure that they would be lobbying for change!

    I’ve spent close to two hours on a plane on the tarmack and thought that it was intolerable. I can’t imagine upwards of 11 hours.

  • What a bunch of gutless sheep. You call yourselves Americans? I wish I would have been on that flight – as the first thing I would have done was get off the plane – by slide if necessary. The second thing would be to call a news station for a story. Wanna arrest me, fine me, make an example of me? Go right ahead – I’ll counter sue and destroy you in the media in the process. Oh, as long as I don’t offend anyone or violate any rules, of course – proper etiquette is required at all times… pffffffffff… we need a real man – or at least a little ol lady – any relatives of Rosa Parks still around? I’ve never flown Jet Blue – but guess what – now I never will – ever. Guess their advertising budget just got wasted didn’t it?


  • I am a person who has flown over 200,000 miles for each of the past 10 years. As such I see the bad and good in the airline industry. Fortunately I have never been a victim of the ridiculous circumstances that took place earlier this week. If you recall several summers ago there were similar incidents that were caused by thunderstorms, in particular a Northwest plane that sat on the tarmac for over 8 hours. At that time the industry promised changes and based on the happenings this week, that was clearly lip service only. Had I been on one of those planes at JFK, chances are pretty good I would have hired an attorney this week to defend myself for any criminal charges as a result of my arrest as there would have been no chance of me sitting on that plane for 8 hours. The good news for the other passengers might have been their release once the police had to come on board to arrest me!

  • Lower that down to 2 hours on a tarmac and you got my signature..lets have some accountability for luggage also, overbooking and understaffing.

  • The people who keep on suggesting lawsuits—they are absolutely right.

    This is a tort of negligence in addition to an intentional tort of false imprisonment cause of action, in addition to suing for possible punitive damages for a tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress. To satisfy a false imprisonment claim one needs to show To prevail under a false imprisonment claim, (1) willful detention; (2) without consent; and (3) without authority of law. What law allows an airline to unreasonably confine air passengers for this period of time without opportunity to seek basic human necessities of food, water, or toilet? What if someone died or became seriously ill under such strenuous circumstances?

    Why the HELL hasn’t a plaintiffs civil litigator jumped on this now? HELLO, LAWYERS where are you??? This is inexcusable. If this happened to you, you have the standing to sue. Call a top plaintiffs firm that specializes in torts, personal injury, and possibly aviation law.

    This is some serious bullshit. They possibly can defend the 11 hour holdover. But there’s no way they can defend unreasonably preventing the passengers access to basic necessities in life.

  • Passengers should be allowed the right to not be held captive by poorly run airlines. 3 hours is enough for the airlines to figure it out and deplane those of us who want off – without compensation.


  • what about the ice storms that stranded motorists across the east coast? Who do these people whine to? maybe the government could get involved, we are their children.

  • I’m not talking about aircraft waiting to take off. I’m talking about aircraft that have landed. For some reason there is a problem, weather, whatever. All the gates are filled. The aircraft has no place to unload passengers. So the passengers are kept on the aircraft for…..we’ve heard the horror stories. Five, ten hours or more, on aircraft on the ground, at a full and complete stop.

    Is there anyone here in the industry?

    WHY isn’t the aircraft towed somewhere safe, with the passengers brought off the aircraft with the portable stairs they wheel to the aircraft, and led off the tarmac to the terminal?

    The first time I heard the story of an aircraft held up like that, in Detroit a few years ago, I figured it was a massive screw-up.

    But you hear about more and more of them.

    Why do I suspect it’s not a safety problem, but a money problem? Does it somehow cost the airlines if they do as I described, bringing the aircraft someplace other than the gates and emptying the aircraft?

    I’m not talking about the luggage, that can wait, I’m talking about the human beings trapped in the aircraft, passengers, pilots, crew.

    If there’s some intelligent reason for keeping the passengers on aircraft for ten hours, fine, but I haven’t heard it.

  • Also, at one point, we were delayed because they didn’t have a pilot to fly the plane… Not even because the originally pilots other flight was delayed- They literally just FORGOT to book a Pilot! What the heck?

  • For the moron who said to quit being babies, don’t fly in the winter, and followed that with “Take along some energy bars, crackers, or fruit strips” you OBVIOUSLY must not fly very often- Unless they Know you’ve bought your food in the Terminal or in the Aiprot they will not allow you to take it on the plane (this includes beverages).
    I’m one who hates to fly in the winter, but when my grandpa died last week there was no way I wasn’t going to book a plane to get to see him… And who’s the guy that said we should be grateful for $99 tickets?? Where did you find THAT deal? Even after an AAA discount AND a “Funeral Trip” discount (or whatever it’s called) I STILL had to pay $460 for my ticket!
    Airlines in general have become ridiculous… Not to say I blame the on-board staff. I’ve seen some of the down right RUDE Passengers they’ve had to deal with, but Come On! It’s the big wigs at the top with the padded pockets who need to be knocked down a few pegs.

  • A “bill of rights” is not the solution. Think of any other industry where this does not happen. Now describe that industry in terms of competitive / non-competitive. The government highly regulates the airline industry acting as a barrier to entry. More government intervention is not the solution. I have be molested by TSA guards, talked to as if I was a prisoner, and made to wait without information. The only way to combat this tyranny is to make the airlines face the competition of the market. They have incentives to do security (without hiring fascists), to inform us, and to treat us like customers who have a choice. Right now there is no reason to do this because a disgruntled customer simply goes to another government protected airline. If the airline fails, the government bails it out. Can you imagine if your industry was like this?

  • What are these people whining about ? Do not fly in the winter when you how miserable the conditions will be. Okay…I agree…there is no reason for the airlines not to be able to find some area where stairs can be rolled in and let the passengers off even in the freezing cold because it is much better than being stuck on the airplane.

    A passenger bill of rights ? Why do you wimps keep running to Congress when they are in the backpockets of the airline industry any way ? You want laws to be enacted ?

    If you feel like you have been damaged by the actions of some airline, file a lawsuit instead of running back to your “daddy”.

    Nothing like a good old fashion lawsuit to force the airlne to spend some money defending the lawsuit.

  • Quit whining and running to your “daddy” (Congress) for help on some idiotic passenger bill of rights. Why do you people not have any guts to file a lawsuit if you feel you have been damaged. It is actually quite fun to watch the airline bleed more money defending a lawsuit than the amount in controversy to begin with.

  • Here’s my JetBlue story:
    I was on the 2/14 flight from AUS to NYC that landed on time at 11 am thanks to some amazing piloting, but did not deplane until 6 pm. JetBlue refunded our fares and gave us a credit for future travel which took the sting out of that event which can arguably be chalked up to bad weather.

    But to have my return flight on 2/18 cancelled and have JetBlue tell me they cannot get me home to AUS until 2/21, refuse to pay for a ticket on another carrier, and refuse to pay for an additional three days in a hotel in NYC is not anything they are going to be able to make up for. No airline strands passengers thousands of miles from home for operational reasons — not weather — without at least giving them a place to stay.

  • 2-17-7 I suggested a charge of false imprisonment. I have finaly gotten around to reading and see other postings suggesting this and also calling these hostiage situations. The more I think about the more I would like to see this agressively persued by passangers trapped on a plane.

  • I would like to hear stories of flightes that actually took off after so many hours on the tarmak that there were overflowing toilets and nothing to eat or drink on board. Does this happen?

  • What I don’t see ANYONE mentioning is this: the airplanes pull away from the gate because of published delay metrics which measure time of departure NOT when they leave the airport, or actually DEPART! but when they pushback from the gate. This is the beginning of all evil. The airlines push back from the gate even when they KNOW they are not going anywhere soon!! On an average sunny day, you can expect to sit 45min on aa tamarac. Once we stop this metric from being all powerful, or redefine it as actual lift off time, tamarac entrapment will be a thing of the past.

  • “Sitting on the tarmac” needs to be VERY well defined. As a frequent flyer, I’ve been on board an aircraft too many times that we taxied for 4 or 5 hours due to weather, but were making progress towards the runway for departure.
    In these instances, if there were a time limit, the aircraft would have had to be returned to the gate then gotten in the back of the long taxi line and wait for another three hours, or get cancelled and I would have missed my connection or family that week; instead of staying out there the extra two hours and then departing.
    Yes, we can all name two or three bad weather days over the past ten years that certain airlines have dropped the ball and the press jumped all over it. We sometimes overlook the bad weather days when airlines need the flexibility to deal with third party interference (weather, ATC, TSA, etc) to limit the damage to one travel day instead of an entire week to recover the schedule.

    Excuse the cliche, but sometimes, “you get what you pay for.”

  • This is from the AA.com website:

    On rare occasions, there may be extraordinary events that result in lengthy onboard delays. These are situations in which an aircraft is delayed on the ground (other than on an active runway or taxiway), but does have access to a terminal gate. In instances like these, American Airlines will ensure its passengers the essential needs, such as food, water, restroom facilities and basic medical assistance.

    Why isn’t anyone suing them based on this breach?

  • >>”Sitting on the tarmac” needs to be VERY well defined.

    I agree. But it’s one thing to be delayed because of the weather for taking off.

    It’s a completely different thing to be stuck on the tarmac AFTER LANDING. Weather is no longer an excuse.

  • I have been fighting the airlines from a different perspective than
    travelers (noise victims on the ground), but I feel we both have a lot in common. I fully support a
    Passengers Bill Of Rights and would like to see a similar bill of
    rights for the people on the ground impacted by an uncaring aviation
    industry and their governmental enablers.

    Bill Mulcahy, editor Aviation Conspiracy Newsletter

  • it’s about time that people are taking a stand against the air lines who have been taking advantage of it’s customers for years.

  • I was scheduled on flight 10 on Friday evening at 8:10pm at JFK and that flight was cancelled at 1:15am. No one knew were the bags were being held. Went back the next day and they still didn’t have ANY idea where the bags were for all those passengers. They told me to go to building 174 on the other side and check there and that was a cargo warehouse of 100’s of bags.
    Thank God I did not board a plane of a DISORGANIZED airline and I’m safe and sound. My cousin cried when she heard that I and my daughter could not make her Sweet 16 big bash.

  • After reading several of the posts, I’m curious. Does anybody know what the real implications are of somebody leaving a plane via the emergency exit after being confined for 8+ hours while parked within walking distance of the terminal? Would someone really be arrested, and if so, is there any chance that a judge wouldn’t throw that case out considering the circumstances? Has anybody tried that yet, or has it been mostly people wishing they had after that fact?

  • This concept of a passenger bill-of-rights is absurd.
    If you want low fares — then expect poor service!
    If you want a passenger bill-of-rights, then you are well on your way back to a regulated airline industry.
    The people who are most involved in this silly idea are people who paid cut-rate fares to cut-rate airlines. My suggestion is either shut-up or pay full fare on a real airline.
    In fact, many of the items on your proposed bill of rights already existed when airlines were regulated and there were NO cut-rate fares.
    As a passenger that has achieved million+ mile status in one airline frequent flyer program I’ve had the opportunity to observe the airline industry for over 25 years, and I’ve been through pretty much every possible airline problem — including being stuck in an aircraft on the ground for many, many hours.
    The first and foremost problem is cut-rate airlines and the passengers who fly on them. The President of Jet Blue, on NPR Talk of the Nation show today stated that they have 20 people in their operations center who take care of the scheduling of their 3800 flight personnel. This is barely adequate for normal operations. When airlines were regulated, they would never have considered this bizarre approach to staffing — completely inadequate to handle even a small disruption.
    But, the reason that they do this is to offer those ridiculously low air fares. If you fly Jet Blue, or Southwest, you deserve whatever happened to you. To expect to pay less than it would cost you in gasoline to drive to a destination, is just plain crazy. The planes you fly on cost $100 million+ each, the jet fuel is costly, the maintenance, scheduling, operations, etc. personnel cost money. For example, a 747 carries 67,000 gallons of jet fuel and has a range of about 8,000 miles. That translates to 8 gallons per mile — but, at almost 10 miles per minute, that means that the plane is using 80 gallons per minute! Each of the 300 passengers on that plane must pay for a gallon of jet fuel every 4 minutes! That’s just fuel cost — only a minor cost of flying. For a round trip of two hour flights, the fuel, taxes, airport facility fees, and homeland security fees are almost $200. You have to pay a lot (like 5X) that much money if you expect to have new aircraft, large expensive maintenance operations, and service operations which can react to a large weather related service disruption.
    This competition for low fares and passengers has forced the large international carriers into bankruptcy. Now they are cutting back in order to offer competing fares — leaving those of us who travel for a living stuck.
    You just cannot have it both ways — either you want cut-rate air fares, or you want a passenger bill-of-rights.

  • I’ve never been stuck on a plane THAT long, but what exactly do the pilots and flight attendants say or do that keep passengers sitting locked inside a metal tube for so long without some kind of large-scale revolt. I just keep thinking that if it was me I would open the emergency exit, slide down the inflatable ramp and walk back to the terminal rather than remain locked inside the plane for so long. And I can’t imagine why everyone else onboard wouldn’t follow suit! As for some of the stories about airlines CHARGING for snack boxes after keeping passengers onboard for hours…same question. What keeps passengers from just demanding or taking food and refusing to pay?

  • i was stuck on an airplane in rome italy after it did not take off for its destination. after about a half an hour the captian called someone a bus was brought to the plane and the passangers were taken to the terminal. although we waited for 6 hours before we got back on the plane at least we had axcess to fodd and bathrooms.

  • And this is unacceptable how???? I would think that most Americans stuck in front of a tv for 11 hours would consider this a nice treat…a break from reality…what not enough blue chips to go around? Give it up people…it you really think this is unacceptable…learn to fly the damn plan yourself!

  • There are 3 additional points that should also be added to these issues:
    1) It is not just JetBlue. Yes, they made some terribly poor decisions last week, but I had very bad experiences with Delta at JFK as well. I believe Delta has somehow dodged a bullet with the major media thus far.
    2) There are no more transcon jumbos. No one is discussing the fact that there are virtually no more 747s, 767, 777s or large Airbuses anymore. Had we had the larger capacity jets the problems would have cleared up DAYS earlier.
    3) Weather driven policies. Knowing that the storms were on the way, I called Delta to try and get on a flight leaving prior to the storm but their policies would not let me leave early without significant change fees. Why not have weather-specific policies that would help passengers change flights within 24 hrs prior to a major storm to help alleviate the problems a little bit?

  • Folks,
    Please realize that this is America today. Think Katrina, think Baghdad, read in yesterday’s Washington Post about how the VA treats seriously wounded soldiers from Iraq at Walter Reed.
    Incompetence reigns surpreme and Americans have become sheep.

  • Don’t fly in winter? Now just tell me what your definition is of winter, and where? It could potentially snow anywhere above the Mason Dixon Line from mid-October until April. I’m sure Chicago, NYC, and Boston would be excited to hear your advice that we should all avoid the North until all chance of inclement weather has passed. Then we’ll just move the No Fly Zone south as winter progresses until Atlanta is also included. Perhaps we should then avoid flying in the summer as well, considering the chance of thunderstorms.

    Get a clue, genius.

    And it has nothing to do with the price of tickets. It has to do with planning, safety, and common sense. Only paying $200 for a flight doesn’t mean they can treat people like steerage on the Titanic. We’re all people.

  • Not too long ago, I flew US Airways, going from Charlotte to Chicago. We were told before we even left the gate that there was no way we could take off for at least an hour or two — but we had to clear the gate so “we wouldn’t lose our place in line for takeoff.” So then the pilot drove us to a big airplane parking lot (which I assume if used mostly for parking empty planes, because that’s what was all around us). There we sat for more than two hours, and we were told several times that this was necessary so we wouldn’t lose our place in the takeoff order to Chicago. Sitting there was miserable — and people were getting angrier by the minute. Babies were crying, people were upset, and it was at least an hour before the attendants handed out lukewarm water in small cups. I hate being crammed in small spaces as it is, and I wondered how many times a situation like this has induced panic attacks in passengers. Once we finally took off and got to O’Hare, I talked to some other passengers from CLT who had left their gate two hours AFTER we did, and they arrived at the same time at O’Hare. So much for the story about “keeping our place in line,” as if that were really the case, then those folks on the later flight should have also arrived much later (as they would have been much further back “in line”). I think the part that really makes passengers boil the most is the feeling of being lied to. Just tell us straight up what the sitation is — if we’re leaving the gate because you need the gate for an incoming flight, say so. If there is no chance this flight is taking off for two hours, tell us that BEFORE we board the plane (we were told RIGHT before we boarded that the flight was ON TIME). Don’t feed us a bunch of lies.

  • Customers have actually no clue about airline operations!! This so-called “passenger bill of rights” is a joke. All it will do is complicate things even more and make it more difficult to get flights off the ground. This situation was caused by airline management trying too hard to get it’s customers to their destinations, when in reality they should have just cancelled the flights. You think this situation was bad, wait and see what happens if this “bill of rights” is pushed on the airlines.

  • I was one of the stranded last week. After flying for 9 hours from Moscow on Delta 31 on 14-Feb we sat for almost 4 hours on the tarmac. Enough to miss our flight to Atlanta.

    We ended up being stranded for 3 days in New York at our own cost. We finally took matters into our own hands and took Amtrak far enough south to DC where we finally got a flight home.

    My 2 traveling companions and I are all Platinum Status and Million Milers on Delta. I can’t imagine the treatment non-statused passengers received.

  • WHAT? “And this is unacceptable how???? I would think that most Americans stuck in front of a tv for 11 hours would consider this a nice treat…a break from reality…what not enough blue chips to go around? Give it up people…it you really think this is unacceptable…learn to fly the damn plan yourself!”

    Idiot! You can’t even spell Plane! Your probably a illiterate
    JetBlue pilot. You obviously have no clue….or your just a jacka**….or both.
    – Three hours is more than enough time for a go/no-go decision to be made.
    Suggestions from a frequent flyer:
    – Avoid flying JetBlue….they are cheap but…..you are more likely to run into these type of problems. This could possibly be the end of JetBlue anyway.
    – Fly SW if possible. They still care about the consumer and are adding flight in the NE. This would not happen on SW!
    – Avoid, if possible, making northern connections in winter…going to Texas? Fly through Atlanta instead of Chicago.
    – Don’t take it…. You have rights…you paid for your ticket….they are providing a service for a fee!
    – Don’t listen to the Idiots!

  • The JetBlue stranding of 10 planes in NewYork, many with overflowing toilets, no air conditioning, and almost no food or water, for up to 11 and half hours, was based on CHOICES MADE BY JET BLUE EXECUTIVES.
    This was NOT BASED ON TSA issues.
    News reports show that JB didn’t EVEN TRY TO DEPLANE ANY PASSENGERS UNTIL 3PM. Stories here:

    This is a symptom of a newer, nastier kind of airline. They have no flight sharing agreement with any other airline, and they run at virtually 100% occupancy, so they can’t cancel flights and slot the flyers onto other seats on other planes. They have to fly their planes.

    JetBlue is known for (attempting to) fly planes when other airlines won’t. This is not good. This means that you can expect them to roll you out on the runway NO MATTER WHAT THE CONDITIONS. And there you will sit. And sit. And sit.

    This MUST be legislated.

  • David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, the airlines’ main industry trade group says: “We think that inflexible standards that would be imposed through some sort of mandatory legislation could easily have the unintended effect of inconveniencing customers more in some situations.” HA HA HA HA! Can you believe these people?!?

  • All aircraft are equipped with stairs out of the rear of the plane–therefore they DO NOT need to have an open gate to deplane passengers…I’d love to hear why they did not do this!

    Not on an Airbus 320, or a Boeing 737, 757, 777, 747 etc.

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Is this the kind of people who are joining in on this? Please people, go back to school and get your GED.


    My son and I attempted to fly out of JFK on 2/14/07 on a 5:30 PM flight. My 2 year old son, a ticketed passenger, withstood hours of delays @ the airport gates only to be told numerous times that we would be boarding in a few minutes. We waited for the equipment to arrive, we waited for a pilot to fly the plane, we just waited!

    Finally we were told to brave the freezing tempurtures, wind and ice to board a bus that would take us to a plane which we would have to board through the back doors. We slowly went down a dark, narrow and twisting path of several hundred feet covered in ice in an effort to make our way to this bus.

    We sat on a bus in the cold for a long while. We were finally told to exit the bus on to the tarmac covered in 3 inches of ice and then forced to board a plane through the rear doors with the jet engines on all while the freezing wind whipped us from all directions. My 2 year old son was screaming as we made are way slowly over the ice and up the stairs behind a line of other unfortunate and falsly imprisoned passengers. It was like a death march which reminded me of concentration camps of the past.

    Once on the plane, we sat on the tarmac for hours without any food or water. We waited for the plane to be deiced not once, but twice as they ran out of deicing fluid. Then we waited for hours in the conga line to take off.

    Our flight landed after 3:00 am in the morning to a deserted Miami airport.

    All car rental agencies were closed and we were forced to take a taxi that was in disrepair. We then almost ran out of gas and had to pull off the road to refuel where we were almost mugged at the gas station. Finally on the road again we were side swiped by a truck around 4:00 am which almost killed us for good.

    Not only did I have to endure this agony, but my 2 year old son’s life was endangered at several points all because of the airlines actions or lack thereof.

    I will see you in court for the wrongs that you have done! Justice will prevail!

  • I have been delayed on many flights on the runway it is horrible on smaller planes especially..just a couple weeks ago they loaded everyone and new the plane was not fixed.. we sat on the runway with maintenace on the plane trying to fix it for
    1-1/2 hours before take off and still did not fix the shitter problem.. we flew for 1-1/2 hour with no shitter…leave us in the terminal until it is 15 minutes prior to take off where there is food and cars to rent and restrooms and walking room..i agree with the petition and it should be lowered to 1-hour not 3-hours…

  • No longer than one hour! Being stranded on the tarmac is like being taken hostage. It is cruel and inhumane. It is like being kidnapped and held against our wills. Did we actually pay money to be imprisoned without committing any crime?

    Being on the tarmac longer than one hour is unacceptable. Passengers should be allowed to disembark and change, postpone or cancel their travel plans in the event of an extended delay.

    Would it be acceptable for a hotel or a restaurant or a movie theater or health club or any other business that provides a service to unconditionally lock us in a room without a choice to leave in the event that the promised delivery of the service is delayed?

    Im my opinion, one hour should be the maximum amount of time any passenger should have to wait.

  • I’ve have been traveling (business and leisure) for more then 25 years. Over the years, the situation worsened to the point which can only described as rock bottom. When I board a plane I feel like cattle driven to the market. Once it used to be an enjoyable adventure. Today – unpleasant at best.
    That been said, I don’t think that airlines are the only responsible party. The fierce (jungle like) competition was triggered by congress with the deregulation. The airlines are between a rock and a hard place and one can see that most are bankrupt or almost there. Many central airfields work much above their real capacity. It is also a safety hazard.
    I think that it is the FAA responsibility to limit the number of flights on certain dates. It is our (passengers) responsibility to understand that if we only judge airlines by the ticket cost, we will end (like in other industries) with no customer service. Yes, we traded decent customer service for low cost tickets and now we whine. When so many people travel at $100 or totally free, we should understand that there will be extra booking and no backup as in the case of Jet Blue. When a plane does not arrive from its previous destination on time for whatever reason (there is a very narrow gap between flights) we will get stuck. Once planes arrived 6-8 hours before taking off again. There was margin for error. Today, they are scheduled for less then an hour wait. No room is left for adjustments.

  • February 25-26, 2007

    My wife is currently stuck on the tarmack in a China Airlines-Delta flight that was scheduled to depart at 9:55 PM FEB 25, 2007. It is now 1:54 AM FEB 26, 2007 and no one is being held accountable. I called Delat Airlines and the phone call ended up in INDIA!!! People are you able to understand, no one is watching out for the people on this flight, and the airlines keep the passengers and their families back home in a black deep abyss. This scenario should be nothing short of KIDNAPPING!!! My trip to New York from Rhode Island took eight hours, a days loss of pay, the loss of my wife’s connecting flight in Tapei and we have to buy, out of our own pocket, accomodations in Tapaei and a new flight ticket to replace the ticket she had upon her arrival in her country for the domestic leg of her trip. Airlines should be herld liable jsut like in any other civil litigation, punitive damages times three. Airlines should have to pay three times the cost of a traveler’s losses. Punitive! They will not even let my wife call me from New York at their expense, thank God we have a cell phone to communicate. America is not a free countrywhne our basic civil freedoms as guaranteed by a Constitution and a Bill of Rights cannot assure us of the wrath of the powerful and almighty airlines!

  • UGH – I never want to fly – I am claustrophobic and this does not make it any better. Even 1 hour is too much on a tarmac. I’d rather drive. Why has the airline travel industry not evolved – why are they allowed to stay in the dark ages. If they don’t evolve, they will die. We need to completely protest flying for 1 day, for 1 week…seriously, something HUGE has to be done for them to listen.

  • Two hours should be tops to sit on the tarmac waiting for a plane to depart. If the airline, air traffic control and the authority running the airport can’t figure something out in that timeframe, then the passengers should be brought back to the gate. And they still should be compensated for the time they wasted.

    Better communication, coordination and someone with the guts or authority to order a plane back to the gate needs to be available.

    Pointing figers and laying blame, along with a healthy dose of excuses, is not helping passengers.

    The “Bill of Rights” needs to be tightened up.

  • Being over six feet tall in a seat made for someone 5′-6″ I’m here to tell you that three hours is totally unacceptable. 30 minutes is is still too long, but reasonable.

    I spent 15 hours sitting on non-moving planes last week getting from the West coast and back. While the short people are laid back and sleeping comfortable.

    Meanwhile I have NO neck support and unable to move my legs. The pain was excruciating, and totally ruined my trip because the pain lingered.

    Amtrak will my next carrier, and I will celebrate the demise of all airlines.

  • This is a Jet Blue Hostage who wanted you to hear his story:

    hey there 🙂

    i thought i had written my reply to you but i forgot to send it before leaving work.

    can you please post my story to your site too… i want as many people to read my story of what happened only a week or so ago so that they know that jetblue is having the same problems as usual.

    this is what happened to me. it is a fwd of a letter that i sent to JetBlue, every email i could find within their company. Ive gotten a reply even from the command chain down but I am not satisfied what so ever and strongly need to let other people know. add me to your AIM buddy list by the way. i will do anything i can to protect us when travelling atfer this.


    The fiasco at JetBlue is still occurring even though the media has stopped paying attention to it. Below is my story as e-mailed to JetBlue.


    I certainly hope that this e-mail has reached it’s intended recipients. I have literally tried every other avenue to find any resolution to my horrendous issues with your airline. I know its long but – here are the unbelievable details . . .

    Last night (03/02) at JFK in NY due to JetBlue problems, the 7:45 flight to DC – flt 1315 ended up getting pushed back and back and back and back somehow – got to the gate 7:15 freaking out because I couldn’t even see the flight on a depature board; only to find out that it was leaving at 12am… then 1am… then 2am… then 3am…

    Anyway over and over again, JetBlue staff claim that due to the fact that the delay is weather related I have no reason to complain. However there are no weather advisories in the areas that I am departing or arriving from; and also in terms of Federal Advisories there were none anywhere near the time period that I was supposed to even fly or didn’t fly because of delay at this point. (7:15PM) the only weather delays were at 11am for rain.

    meanwhile in between all of these “weather delay” excuses, your staff was literally freaking out about the angry people, a shift freeze, and eventually they know that this is getting so ridiculous that they may as well appear like they realize it too. then it turns into them not knowing where the plane is, the plane is coming from an area affected by weather… etc

    I went to go find this customer service desk that you supposedly have at JFK however there was a HUGE line of upset customers. Lots more passengers were sleeping on the floors. People were supposed to be ALL over the place and having the SAME EXACT ISSUES as me. Anyway I refuse to even touch the floor in my italian designer suit – perhaps it’s ok to some people to lay on the floor of the airport for cheap airfare but not to me.

    finally, being as that there was no option for me to get there in any way shape form, I decided that it would be easier to switch to a morning flight rather then wait in the airport. I had exhausted my customer service options. I switched to an early morning 7A flight and gave up and took a taxi all the way home (and I had taken one to the airport too, at $50 each way from Brooklyn) versus waiting in the airport. At this point I have literally spent $100 on a cab fare to the airport and back for no reason whatsoever, and my ticket cost the exact same so we’re talking $200 trip now vs $100.

    I was degraded by not one, but many JetBlue employees via about 7 attempts to allow your company to care about its service during my many attempts to let them do something about this ridiculous issue. In particular – a man named Arnold at the JFK terminal infuriated me by being particularly uncaring – he should be fired – and he also specified that security stall me for no apparent reason other than the fact that he was making me disproportionally upset.

    It is not fair to claim that it is weather related and uncontrollable when all they had to do was get a plane that wasn’t coming from an area affected by weather issues – why should I have to waste my time with problems that ARE solveable? Also the other people that were stranded were going to other locations nowhere near me. Other airplanes leaving JFK took off during this time.

    So eventually, I went back to JFK, left myself time to complain for about the 10th time that evening, eventually gave up again, and sat at the waiting area at JFK Airport, already dealing finding that there are new delays on the new flight that was supposed to board 10.. 20.. 45 minutes ago…. if JetBlue is still in business tomorrow I would be shocked at this point really… I am waiting for some kind of announcement saying this literally I do not understand what is going on here at this point. People who were on other flights trying to get on this one too start swarming the desk. The lady starts freaking out and saying to whomever that she is communicating with that the customers are getting mad and she doesn’t know what to do. They keep telling us that they are short a crew member and therefore we have to all wait for one? Eventually this poor frazzled woman who just got off some double shift arrived, and we finally boarded this flight.

    By this point all of your staff cannot hold themselves together. I learn that one of your flight crew has never even flown on the type of aircraft we are on. They are visibly exhausted and trying to cope with your companies issues but the overall effect creates absolute fear for me – I get the impression none of these people, however kind they are – have any idea whats going on – and I start to feel like I am in the movie Airplane. At this point I decided that there is NO WAY that I will be taking my return flight back to NY 03/03. I do not trust JetBlue at this point. If your company is this bungled it is only a matter of time before you loose a plane.

    I don’t care about the travel voucher that I should be entitled to under the bill of rights – the flight was $50 each way… it’s the principle of the situation and the horrible responses from the employees when all I tried to do was find some resolution – I just wanted to see my 86 year old grandmother for what might be the last time.

    I absolutely refuse to give up re: this issue until someone proves me to me that JetBlue does care about me, a long term passenger. I gave your airline the benefit of the doubt and you let me down. If you have to charge me DOUBLE for your ticket that would have been fine if the service had been better at this point – its cost me an extra $200 in taxis. I will do absolutely everything to not let this issue rest until it has been resolved. I appreciate any response re: this issue.

    Brent 🙂

  • i should add that the flight attendants couldnt figure out how to close the planes door; and also that i had to pay $90 extra for an amtrak home because i was so frightened. literally was so disoriented by the experience that i got lost in the dulles airport afterward!

    Brent 🙂

  • if airlines are going to keep people in planes because of weather, or just simply nowhere to park yet, there should be a limit that is deemed acceptable. some of the horror stories i’ve read here, are disgusting.. nobody else in business would stay in business if they treated their customers like this. at the very least, food and water should be automatic, not a luxury. and yeah, what about small kids, infants, and those not quite healthy as the rest of us? if i were american i’d sign the petition in an instant. (and for those who say change will never happen, if you do nothing – of course it will never happen)

  • I was on a Jetblue flight from Vegas to JFK via Dulles Washington on Feb.16th. Needless to say, the flight never arrived so we never took off. After waiting at the airport for 4 hours, (3:00am) they boarded us on a DC10 to Long Beach, CA. When we landed, it was like I was in Times Squres on New Years, the cheering, applaud, etc. was startling. I asked this girl next to me why the cheers, She said everyone on the flight has been in the JetBlue terminal @ JFK for over 30 hours !! Many of those passengers were diverted to Las Vegas first to pick-up 7 lucky travelers; I was one of them. I spoke with a fellow passenger on the DC-10 from Vegas to Long Beach, he missed his daughters weddiing, which was in San Diego. So bascially, everyone had other destinations, JetBlue got them closer to their intented target, given it might take a day to drive to Frisco, or S.Diego. Funniest thing I’ve seen at an airport, a guy ran down the haphazard stairs connecting the DC-10 and the tarmac and kissed the ground like he’s reached his Mecca. Amazing what a delay will do to people. But, I got back on the Flying Yacht, after 4 hours of waiting in Long Beach, and arrived safely, with bags, back to JFK, only 8 hours late.

  • Just because you disagree with someone using profanity and berating them only makes you look like an idiot.
    As for JetBlue — yes they made mistakes, and they have apologized and at least are trying to make it right with customers. I admire anyone who can admit a mistake. Please people do not lump them in with the other air carriers. I have to wonder after reading these blogs whether any of you ever fly or just like to complain.

  • The entire DadLabs production crew recently spent 18 hours in the jetBlue terminal at JFK. It was Valentine’s Day.

    So we’re bitter. But when life gives you lemons, make poetry.

    So we are inviting you, creative DadLabs passengers, to help us shake our puny fists at the man. Submit your poetry that decries/commemorates the recent airline meltdown in the comments here. The bitter editors at DadLabs.com will then select the best poem in each division and and award it a $50 gift certificate at our DadLabs store.

    Our poetry contest has two divisions:

    The jetBlue Haiku
    Show the airline your 5-7-5

  • 2-16-07 Kidnapped by Jet Blue

    I wish I could have written this earlier, but it has taken me a full two days to recover from what I/we went through on Valentine’s Day, 2007. I was excited to be able to fly to LA on Wednesday as I had a great evening planned for Valentine’s Day —as my girlfriend is in LA for the month. Gonna hit up our favorite sushi spot in LA — Asuka and then go for dessert at our first place we went on a date to in Venice. And for those out there who know me really well, you know I fly more than I walk, so flying to me is not a big deal. Africa 4 times in one year, 17 ½ hours each way…did it, no problem.

    So, on Wednesday morning I woke up at 4am to head to the airport for a 6:45 AM Jet Blue flight to Burbank. There was suppose to be like 6 inches of snow that night and when I woke up (after only 3 hours of sleep), I was shocked to see very little snow on the ground…some ice, but not too crazy…I get to the airport, feeling good – gonna go to LA with my homeboy for life, Roberto Stoney, have a great Valentine’s Day with my girl then meet up with the Answer aka AI and then fly to Vegas on the privado plane with the best ballplayer in the world. No problems in check in — no reported delays. All good. We board the plane and leave the gate by 7am. Again, as many of you who have traveled with me, as I fly more than I walk, I have to use the plane to get some rest. I fall asleep before they even offer me a pillow or close the door. I was out cold. But I keep hearing over the PA, the pilot talking about how we are being held and that the weather conditions are not allowing us to depart. And because of FAA regulations, we are not legally allowed to leave the airport, however other international carriers are leaving, because they have different regulations. And I am looking out the window and there is a little ice coming down and I know planes crash when there is ice, so I am not buggin’ about waiting. The next thing I remember is I wake up at 10am. By this time, we had been sitting on the runway in a remote “de-icing” area for 3 hours. I’m thinking this is unusual, but it is really icy outside, so I understand why we are not departing. But, like many of the other passengers, we are wondering why we are not going back to gate. Now, for those who read newspapers or watch the news, you the know the end of this story. For those of you, who like our president, could care less about current events, you have no idea the ending, but I am sorry, I have to kill the ending, because it is not the ending that is important. 10 hours later — yes, I said 10, diez en espanol, hours later we were taken off the plane by our saviors the Port Authority. So, back to 10am.

    I look up and there is a Jewish man praying…doing his morning prayer. And I thought to myself, and in no disrespect to my Muslim brothers and sisters, but more a comment on the rest of us…I was thinking of getting out of seat and praying to the East in the middle of the aisle…we would back at the gate before they asked for my name. But, I didn’t and continued to wait. The pilot would come on every now and again to try to calm us down and tell us that the weather is suppose to break and that we would be leaving shortly. The “de-icing” trucks would come out and de-ice the plane, making us all think that we were actually going to leave. But then, disaster struck. The air went out. The air vent was frozen and they could not bring in air into the airplane. At this point is when the kidnapping began. KIDNAPPING. I went to the cockpit (which door was wide open) and spoke with the pilot. I asked him, at what point does this become an emergency? He said it was not an emergency, unless someone on the plane got ill, and that they were doing everything possible to get us to a gate. They opened the back door to let in air, but remember it was 20 degrees, so soon it got cold on the back on the plane, so they shut the door. All around us were other Jet Blue planes, who were obviously in the same predicament we were in. But, I thought since we left at 6:45 in the morning, we would be one of the first planes to get a gate. The pilot kept saying that there were no gates. I asked the pilot, why don’t they bring those buses over to us to get us off the plane…by this time is was going on 6 hours…he told me that they had called for them, but received no response (Note* It has come out in the recent days, that Jetblue did not notify the Port Authority until 3pm that there were passengers stuck for over 10 hours). I asked him what I open the door and jumped out…he said I would be arrested for an act of terrorism.

    I looked around the plane, and I was stunned by the lack of outrage. I decided we must do something. I thought it would be a good idea for everyone from LA to sit on one side of the plane and everyone from NY on the other…because the LA motherf**kers are soft. SOFT…like SOFT ICE CREAM…SOFT. They were watching this happen and not saying a word. No one really liked my idea, so people kept sitting in their seats watching the damn TV. I began to think of what an amazing study of the human psyche this was. Here were 250 passengers being kidnapped and they were watching their TVs. That was the best thing Jet Blue had going for them, the TVs. They are numbing devices. But when the TV antenna was frozen over, the TVs went out too…now people started to get agitated. It was like they were taking things away slowly to see how long they could hold us before we broke and revolted. Behind me was a beautiful Indian couple with their two children who had traveled from India on Monday through Germany — already traveled two days…all they wanted to do was get home. By hour 8, the TVs and air came back on, and people again were back to their comatose state. I could hear people say, “oh this is not Jet Blue’s fault, this is the weather.” And thought to myself — F**K THAT. I did not buy it for one second. The weather was not that bad to be sitting on the runway for 8 hours. It must have been something Jet Blue was doing. Because around us all I could see were Jet Blue planes. Now, I flew Jet Blue the first month it was in operation, before anyone knew what Jet Blue was. I have been a frequent flyer on their airline and have always spoken very highly of them, but something on this day was very, very wrong. By hour 8 ½ the pilots told us the flight was cancelled and that they were not legally allowed to fly, as they had timed out. And that were “next” to get a gate. We had heard “next” more times than the WNBA players said “we got next” 5 years ago when the league started. Finally, the pilot admitted that we had been “tricked” and other airplanes were getting the gates before us. Someone made an announcement over the intercom for a “friend of bill” to go to the back of the plane. I thought immediately that was code word for federal agent and that finally someone was going nuts and they would have to get us off. But, it turns out there was someone who was in AA and needed someone to help him get through this. Respect to my man who was struggling. Late in hour 8, an announcement comes out, not to use the bathroom…it was 100% full. The pilot says unless you cannot hold it in, do not use the bathrooms. What the F**K? This was not human. I felt like I was on Survivor Jet Blue, next on CBS. And the poor kids…they were suffering…remember, Jet Blue only has snacks, so there was no food. A lot of people have asked what Jet Blue could have done, since it was really the weather’s fault…the one thing they should have done was bring a truck with sandwiches and salads for the entire plane. 10 hours without a meal is criminal in my humble opinion.

    Finally in hour 9, a glimmer of hope. We could see the plane next to us had cop cars and ambulances all around it. And BUSES! There was hope. We might be freed. Women and children and the elderly would go first, of course…but they should have let the LA people go first, because they were good for nothing. When the pilot said, the buses were coming to us “next” and that we would all get refunds and a free round trip ticket — the LA people cheered. F. That. If someone invites to their house for dinner and spits in your food, do you go over to their house the next night for dinner? A free round trip ticket would not silence this kidnapping. At 4:45, after being held hostage for 10 1/2 hours, we were freed by the Port Authority and taken to safety. I asked the bus driver at what time he started working — he told me 8am. I asked him at what time did he start to free passengers from planes, he told me 3pm. Jet Blue did not call for help until 3pm! 8 hours and 15 minutes into their kidnapping.

    But, unfortunately for me and my fellow comrade Robbie Stonewall Jackson, our nightmare was not over. Having to really want to spend the night with my girlfriend, and also trying to close a deal with A.Iverson on this idea, we thought it was crucial to get to LA. Also, we had been speaking with Jet Blue all day on the phone as well and they told us that there were no flights until Monday to any of the three airports near LA…so it was even like we could have got there the next day if we wanted to.

    So, when we got to the terminal, we tried to get on the next flight out, because we had heard that planes were finally leaving. Lucky (or really unlucky) for us, we did not check in any bags, so we could straight to the gate. The next and last plane to Burbank was leaving in 20 minutes. We got a ticket, but this time we bought $50 worth of food, just in case. Only about 7 or 8 of us from the first flight made this flight. We are called the “flight 351 7.”

    We got on the plane and everything looked very promising. We left the gate right away and were off to the “de-icing” center. Then, it all began again. The wait, hour after hour, after hour, after hour. 6 HOURS. But, this flight was not nearly as cordial as the first. Finally our New Yorkers had arrived. When they refused to give us water, after hour 1, citing an FAA policy that they were not allowed to serve anything before 4 hours on the ground…Robbie and I went into the water reserves I saw them stash when boarding and began to pass out the water ourselves. When they told us to stop, I told them to “not start with us…we had been through it already.” When the gentleman behind me lost his composure and flipped out on the steward, they threatened to bring the plane back to the gate and arrest him. And all he wanted was water. I went back to the galley and had a conversation with the crew and told them that I had been on the first flight and had seen how and when the passengers will break down. I told them to give everyone on the plane water immediately or else they would have a riot. They quickly obliged. 30 minutes later, I told them to give everyone snacks and that is when I hit my first speed bump. ROBERT ALVAREZ, flight attendant from Jet Blue, told me that I was causing him to have a headache because I was asking for too many things and that he was feeling “unsafe” and wanted to get off the airplane. He was going to request that the plane be brought back to the gate, so he could get off. I told him I was sorry for him, but I had to do what I had to do to take care of the kids and elderly on the plane. He barked at me, but that was his problem, not mine. At this point, this was no longer about the weather; this was about the staff of Jet Blue. This second crew was just plain nasty. And heavens forbid there was a more severe emergency, i.e. a hijacking…Mr. Alavarez, would you still have a headache. As I survived the first episode of Survivor Jet Blue — now we were in episode two and Mr. Alvarez, I almost opened that back door and through your ass out. I can only help, after we make our formal complaints to Jet Blue, your time is terminated and you will never, ever be responsible for anything more than wiping your own behind…because you failed miserably, miserably. In fact, the entire crew failed miserably, except for two of them, which I would like to commend. I did not get their names, but the black woman and the Latin man who was working the front — they deserve some appreciation. Now remember, I had $50 worth of food. I was good. Gatorade, black and white cookies, chicken Caesar salad, sandwich…this was not about me. This was about those folks on the plane who did not know what was about to happen. Then someone on the plane yelled at me that I was on the news — now I wasn’t on the news, our first flight was on the news. It was coming to light this was a Jet Blue issue, not a weather issue. I took over — my Leo instincts took over. I went up and down the aisle to make sure the passengers were ok. But, here comes the LA motherf**kers again, asking me to stop, because I might be disrupting our chances of taking off. Now, I did not know everyone’s reason for flying to LA — maybe their mother was on her death bed…so it was not my time to question their selfishness, because it might be for good reason. But with no disrespect, I was not going to allow what happened on the first flight to happen again.

    We finally took off at 11:30 — 6 hours after we boarded. But to cap it all off, during the flight, the couple in front got into a physical altercation and were yelling at each other the whole time about cocaine use, expensive rings, voicemails and text messages. I had to tell them to stop the bickering, because at this point, we all just needed a few hours of sleep.

    To Jet Blue: You failed us. Our faith and trust in your company has forever been broken. You tried to run the table and take a big gamble to save money and you lost. But, more importantly, we lost. You took a gamble on the lives and health of young children and our elders. That is despicable. I have flown over 1.5 million miles in my young life of 28 years old. I will do everything in my power not to fly your airline again or allow even my worst enemies to fly your airline. It is not about the weather. It is about your horrible gamble to let over 8 planes to sit on the runway for over 9 hours instead of canceling the flights early on, knowing that they would never take off. For heaven’s sake, our wheels were frozen into the ground — we could not move. You have offered us free tickets, but we want a lot more than that. And it is not about money, it is about action. Never let this happen again and train your staff to really deal with a crisis. And use Mr. Alvarez as a text book example of what not to do.
    I am humbled to know I was part of something that may create change. Yesterday, a DEMOCRAT, introduced a passengers bill of rights so this never happens again to anyone. Remember it was President Reagan who de-regulated the airline industry. It is time for change. Do not let the airline industry to beat this bill or else you may sit on a runway like we did…and next time it may not have such a pleasant ending.

    To the “flight 351 7” — I will miss you all. We experienced something that has made us stronger and better people. Your resilience is humbling…it brings tears to my eyes, truly. We made it out alive, to see the next day, cause only you 7 can understand, that there was a moment, when we thought we would not make it. To my English homie who was off to LA to spend Valentine’s day with his Australian girl, I hope you all had a moment to love each other. You are a good dude.

    To my girlfriend…I would sit on a plane for another 16 hours to see your beautiful face…but if it was a jet blue plane, I might burn the motherf**ker down next time.

  • Hello, I’m a reporter for People Magazine and would love to talk to any passengers trapped in planes at JFK during the Feb. 14th storm. Please email me at willow_I_said@yahoo.com for contact information. My deadline is Monday, Feb. 19th.

    Michelle York

  • I agree wholeheartedly that the “three hour” proposal is way too long.

    I was held on the ground once at Dallas/Fort Worth for over an hour in the hot sun with no air conditioning. There were thunderstorm-related delays in New York, but passengers weren’t informed of this; we were boarded on time, backed out of the gate, and parked right there, within sight of the gate, and then told of the delay. “Sorry about the heat; we’ll try to get some extra ice in the drinks and will try to get an air conditioning truck here soon.”

    None of the media has yet asked the question: “Why would an airline do this?” Why didn’t they just leave the plane at the gate, so passengers had the use of terminal services (and the plane had ground power and air conditioning) until the delay had cleared?

    Years ago, weather-related delays used to cause planes to hold in the air, circling for hours before landing. The industry adopted “flow control”, where delays like these were pushed back to the departure point, saving fuel and flight hours and reducing airborne congestion. So why not push that all the way back to the gate?

    After that miserable American Airlines flight, I happened to share a ride with a flight attendant supervisor, who explained exactly why this happens: union rules. Flight attendants are paid from “Block Out to Block In”– meaning that they’re not on the clock during the entire flight prep/boarding interval. Their hourly pay starts when the wheel blocks are pulled and the plane backs away from the gate, and it ends when the flight reaches the destination gate.

    When there’s a weather-related delay, they’ll back the plane out of the gate merely to start the clock so the flight attendants get paid.

    The second reason for backing out of the gate is to be ready for a departure on short notice. The third is the occasion of a shortage of gates. And a fourth is to
    prevent loss of revenue. (I find that carriers routinely lie about the status of their own flights, and the non-availability of seats on other carriers).

    None of these excuse the airlines’ behavior. To keep hundreds of passengers needlessly captive because of poorly conceived pay rules, a mythical “lack of gates”, or a 5% chance that mechanical problems might be repaired before a flight cancels is ridiculous, and it’s quite obvious that, in most cases, the airlines are aware of ground holds well before they even board the passengers in the first place.

    On my last JetBlue flight, they had no problem going back to the gate when a bag was found with no owner.

    The proposed Bill of Rights should specify a maximum ground hold time as a percentage of the published flight time: passengers may be willing to tolerate an hour’s delay on a five-hour flight, but shouldn’t have to endure that on a one-hour flight. Longer hauls are usually better prepared to endure delays; they don’t run out of food and water and have more holding capacity on the lavatories. Some commuter flights have no services or lavatories at all– would people really be willing to sit for three hours on one of those?

    Airlines need to treat extremes in
    cabin conditions as the emergency they are. Passengers need to be
    assured that they’ll have ventilation and reasonable cabin temperatures not only in flight, but on the ground; we shouldn’t have to pass out or suffer heat stroke before action is taken.

    Also, when a flight is (going to be) delayed longer than its duration, passengers should have a right not only to deplane, but receive a full refund for the remainder of the trip. When a delay causes someone to miss the event for which they’re taking the trip in the first place, forcing them go anyway merely adds insult to injury.

    To avoid having this bill promote flying in unsafe conditions, I’d suggest that the industry establish a delay “insurance” fund, which compensates airlines for weather and mechanical delays.

  • It’s certainly reasonable due to inclement weather to have to sit on the tarmac for up to 3 hours but anything beyond that is too much to ask of passengers. After 11 hours or longer no toilets are available, and food and water is scare to unavailable. For all of those who’ve commented: “deal with it, expect it if you fly in the winter, suck it up, get over it, etc.” are you all that self-centered? Do you not have any compassion for elderly, pregnant woman, children or babies? We can’t take water on the plane anymore, I would hate for my infant to not have water to mix formula and be stuck on a plane for 11 hours hungry, that’s inhumane!

  • The airlines will continue to do as they please because when all is said and done society moans and groans about the problems and never do a damn thing about it.

    When we all unite and start petitioning, boycotting and protesting in front of airline headquarters then we might see some action. So in other words put up or shut up!!!

    Society loves to bit*h about problems that affect them but never do anything to change it they wait for someone to do it for them. Stand up and be accounted for, make a contribution to the fight!

    Lets all stop using the airlines services and let them go broke, thats the only language these businesses understand so lets hit them where it hurts. But I don’t see that happening in the USA because we are all spoiled brats who enjoy our luxuries.

  • Good thing this has never happened to me. After hour 5 I would be getting off the airplane. Period.

    With or without assistance from the flight crew.

    Somebody would have to shoot me to stop me.

  • Three hours seems a reasonable maximum before you’re allowed to deplane.

    Compensating bumped passengers a mandatory 150% of ticket price would probably raise airfares, I say stick with the current dutch auction method.

    If passengers decide to pop the doors and activate the slides that’s called interference with a flight crew and can land you in prison for 20 years.

  • It is not the crew”s fault! The airline management is responsible. They can move aircraft from the gate to a remote parking spot–it just costs the money…..More than 2 hours is unacceptable. It becomes unsanitary as well as uncomfortable.

  • This is not new for the airlines. Few years back, I was flying to NYC from STL and the plane could not land because of bad weather. They diverted the plane to Boston for refuelling and it started to snow by the time the plane got refuelled. We were sitting in the plane till 10 PM (from 3 PM) at the end of runway (probably couple of miles from terminal) with no food, water/soda (the peanuts were served during the flight). When there was a break, the priority was given to the flights (sitting at the gate) that were late and not the ones sitting at the end of runways.

    How the hell these greedy airlines think that they can take-off if there is a break in weather? According to the same people, it takes about 30-40 min just to de-ice an aircraft. In blizzard like conditions, how long they expect the break? Even if they get 1 hr break, it would take at least more than 1 hr just to clear the snow from runway. Who ever makes these decisions, they must be in some institution and not in airline business.

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