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plane on tarmacLast weekend, hundreds of passengers were stranded on the tarmac at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport for more than seven hours. The Associated Press reports that three JetBlue planes and one American Airlines plane, which were originally bound for New York, were diverted to Connecticut and then left on the tarmac for the better part of the day on Saturday.

A JetBlue spokesperson told the AP that the planes were kept on the tarmac due to a series of complications, including equipment failure and low visibility in New York. When the passengers eventually deplaned after an interminable wait, they had to look for spur-of-the-moment accommodations in Connecticut. Many fliers spent the night curled up in an airport terminal.

But here’s the scary part: Toilets were jammed and provisions were low onboard the stranded planes. One passenger told the Hartford Courant, “‘We ran out of water. The bathrooms are all clogged up and disgusting. The power would go off every 45 minutes or so for five minutes or so, and that would freak people out. … I’ve heard about these kind of stories.'”

We’ve heard stories like this too. This unfathomable ordeal would make fine fodder for Airplane Horror Stories, our collection of disturbing-but-true tales from the skies. So what’s the worst headache a person can endure when traveling by plane? You decide:

– written by Caroline Costello

8 Responses to “Passengers Trapped on Tarmac for Seven Hours”

  1. experienced traveler says:

    perhaps as a sailor I know to watch weather. If a flight is headed to weather…I change my flight! I have never been grounded on the tarmack for longer than forty minutes. I would be arrested for opening the emergency escape before I COULD or would sit like that. I am a paying customer..NOT a prisoner.
    Next time..get off the plane!! The same way that you were sheep told to sit during a hijacking you are now sheep at a delay. CHANGE IT! GET OFF the plane. there are slides! If people REFUSED to sit the airlines would make special gates for delays at every airport.
    Airline commented that “SECURITY” would not let them debark. TSA are overstepping their authority since all on the plane were already security checked before boarding.

  2. jc says:

    I agree with above – I’d get off the plane! What they did to their passengers was ridiculous, scary, and dangerous. How hard could it really have been to take them back to the terminal?

  3. ka says:

    I agree with both of the people above. Quit accepting treatment like that, and these airlines, TSA, etc. will no longer subject you to those type of inhumane conditions. First, we and our families are human beings, not packages, suitcases, or bags of trash. Secondly, we are a paying customers. If the airline or airport personnel has not taken action after 45 minutes to an hour, demand exit off the plane so that you can find suitable accommodations. Soon enough the airlines and airport officials will take notice and change their practices–but NOT until we make them do it! Expect better and most importantly, DEMAND better!

  4. Slim says:

    Amen to the above, as pure luck would have it, the worst I have experienced in over 55 years of air travel world wide has been less than an hour, Somehow between the airline, airport and TSA they shoulda, coulda let the people disembark. 7 HOURS!! Someday somewhere somebody is going to lose it and there will bad headlines the next day. uestion? I know the smaller planes have self contained stairs that unfold, what about the larger widebody aircraft?
    Please airplane gods do not ever put me a 7 hour delay on the tarmac.

  5. Lorraine Tanes says:

    It is inexcusable to not have \emergency\ plans at all airports for delayed, diverted, otherwise unplanned and prolonged (over 1 hour) stranding of passengers on the tarmac. Are we surprised when airports are closed for snow, sleet, wind, etc? Backed up toilets, lack of adequate hydration, and restricted movement are more than annoying…..they’re all health hazards. Passengers should at least have the option of deplaning and seeking other flights; I don’t condone taking things into your own hands; it’s past time that airlines and their ports step up to the plate.

  6. Jacq Sculteure says:

    I was on a flight this June,IAD to PHX where we pulled back from the gate after 45 minute delay, turned, rolled a few hundred feet and stopped. After 10 minutes passengers started asking why. Announced we have a faulty “Igniter” and require maintainence. After 45 minutes were told it could not be fixed. Then we moved to the runway!!!!! People were very upset and we were told the igniter was a safety backup and we could fly without it!!!! I asked to get off to find another flight and was told absolutely not.You will remain on this flight for Security reasons. Needless to say all passengers were extremly nervous and upset for the next 3 hours. This is imprisonment, it is against the law in other situations. I PAID for THIS!

  7. DON says:

    It’s time for passengers to force the issue. The FAA is simply not going to enforce fines on airlines because they are in the “airline support” business, not the “passenger support” business. So, what to do? First, get up and pop that door and let yourself out. You might get charged with a crime; however, necessity and duress are defenses to every crime on the books, from murder to jaywalking. Demand a jury trial and assert necessity/ duress; I doubt that any jury would convict.

    Before getting up to pop that door, be prepared to document, with your camera phone, any flight attendant or crew member that lays a hand on you during the process. Then sue the pants off them and the airline, for assault and false imprisonment. Again, demand a jury trial.

  8. mary says:

    Toilets that are not available or do not work are the worst!

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