Passengers Stranded On Grounded American Airlines Flight For 8 Hours

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, a flight was diverted because of severe thunderstorms and passengers were left to sit on a grounded airplane for 8 hours. By the time they arrived at their destination, they’d been on the plane for 11 hours. Sound familiar? It happened again. The snacks and drinking water got scarce. Someone ordered pizza—”50-70″ slices for 200 people.

From USA Today:

An isolated incident such as the one in Midland should not be used to justify broad new regulations about delayed flights, says David Castelvetter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, which represents large airlines. “By all accounts, American handled it well, given the severe weather conditions,” Castelvetter says.

The legislation was proposed after American jets were delayed up to eight hours in Austin on Dec. 29 and JetBlue Airlines suffered similar problems on Feb. 14 in New York.

Passengers aboard Flight 556 say they were never told why they couldn’t get off. As the hours passed, they say they were offered few updates about the flight’s status.

“I’m a pretty easy person,” says Mike Cunningham, 30, of Scottsdale, Ariz. “I don’t really get too worked up about stuff. But after sitting there for awhile, it got pretty annoying. I think the biggest issue was it wasn’t really communicated to us what was going on.”

American has apologized and sent $500 vouchers. The airport claims it was unsafe to let the passengers off the plane because they couldn’t find a stairway that fit. —MEGHANN MARCO

8-hour ordeal left fliers hungry, angry [USAToday]
(Photo: Chril1024)