This weekend’s torrential downpours in the New York City area wreaked havoc on air travel, as flights were canceled, airports closed and planes rerouted. One such flight was Virgin America Flight 404, where passengers were kept cooped up in the plane, nibbling on rationed Pringles and sipping water, while it sat on the tarmac for nearly 7 hours.
The plane, which was supposed to have landed at JFK airport in NYC, eventually ended up about 80 miles up the Hudson River at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY.
And that’s where they stayed. For a very long time.
For nearly 7 hours, passengers grew increasingly irate as cabin fever set in and the food and beverage supplied dwindled to water and potato chips. “That’s all we got — four chips and half a cup of water,” one passenger said.
Another passenger, David Martin of Kontain.com, captured a lot of the ordeal on his phone.
“One guy said he had a question, and the flight attendant started shouting at this guy, ‘You are really getting on my freaking nerves! You need to shut the hell up!'” recalled Martin.
Ultimately it was JetBlue that came to the rescue of the stranded Virgin passengers, arranging for bus transportation to JFK.
They finally arrived at the airport around 2 a.m. (or 3 a.m., for those whose watches had already adjusted to the time change), 16 hours after departing Los Angeles.
According to Martin, he was contacted by Virgin America CEO David Cush who promised a full refund and $100 credit to all passengers.
A 16-hour flightmare [NY Post]