Flyer's Rights Protest Involves Airplane Themed Tent, Smelly Portable Toilets

The Coalition For A Passenger’s Bill of Rights cracks us up. They went to D.C. and erected an airplane-themed tent complete with smelly portable toilets in an attempt to recreate the feel of a real-life tarmac imprisonment.

Too funny.


Pictures from an (airline strand-in) exhibition [US PIRG]
(1st Photo:US PIRG)
(2nd Photo:AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivai / September 19, 2007)


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  1. goodguy812 says:

    how does the airline companies have the legal right to detain citizens. and what about those who need medications or medical attention, or pregnant women? would they be forced to give birth right in the plane? seems to me like if the airline companies would be reasonable about this, they wouldn’t have to worry about these things.

  2. HeyThereKiller says:


  3. goodguy812 says:

    i would have to be escorted off by police because after 45 minutes i’m going to start hurting people. lol.

  4. HeyThereKiller says:

    what would happen if you called 911 and reported a hostage situation?

  5. bnet41 says:

    @goodguy812: I guess you’ve never sat on the runway at a big airport. Last time I flew out of JFK it took almost an hour and a half to take-off. We were moving, the backup was just so bad.

    Going back to the gate in those situations doesn’t work because you are in line to take off. It just takes time. Now, the stuff where the plane isn’t going anywhere for 5-6 hours that’s a bit different.

  6. not_seth_brundle says:

    @goodguy812: You really shouldn’t be flying if your due date is around the corner anyway. And many airlines have policies against letting women fly if they are due to give birth in a week to a month.

  7. goodguy812 says:

    well i have flown 6 times. never sat in a plane on the ground for longer that twenty minutes. southwest/northwest airlines from indianapolis to vegas for the last three years.

  8. goodguy812 says:

    and i was joking on the 45 mins thing. hence the “lol”. i wouldn’t be too upset at that, but 5-8 hours? rediculous. i could have re-booked with another airline, drove to the next nearest airport, and still be quicker.

  9. acambras says:

    If they wanted to make things very realistic, they should have put less legroom between those rows of folding chairs.

  10. dregina says:

    The last time I flew Delta we were diverted from landing in Cincinnati because of weather – we landed in Lexington instead. The flight attendant made a very dramatic annoucement about how we would only be on the ground for 10 minutes, and then right back up in the air, nobody panic, don’t call Delta and try to change your connecting flight, it’ll just cause confusion and this will be a very short diversion, etc. etc., etc.

    45 minutes later we were told paperwork was being submitted so we could take off.

    About an hour after that a woman a few seats in front of me asked the flight attendant, very politely, if she could get off the plane. She explained that she actually lived closer to Lexington than Cincinnati, but had purchased the Cincinnati ticket because it was much more affordable, and that she had family willing to pick her up in Lexington, so it would really make more sense for her to get off the plane now, here in Lexington, rather than continue to wait for that magic unknown moment when we would take off to fly back to Cincinnati.

    The flight attendant said, “Well, we can’t legally hold you here against your will, but it would cause a tremendous delay for the 200 other people on this plane, because we would have to file more paperwork, and that would take at least an hour, and we couldn’t even ask to get into line for takeoff until that paperwork was completed, and we’ll be taking off here any minute, so please don’t be selfish. Everyone else on this plane needs to get where they’re going too.”

    So the woman stayed on the plane.

    2 hours after that we got clearance to get in line for take off.

    We took off about 10 minutes after that.

    If I was that lady, I would have been PISSED.

  11. hollerhither says:

    It’s a crapshoot getting a 5+ hour delay, but flying 6 times is unlikely to give you an accurate sense of what’s going on out there these days. Neither, really, does flying 6-10 times a year, as I unfortunately do (and for many business travelers that’s nothing). But even I’ve had some fairly horrific airport/airline experiences, and things are getting worse, not better. An incredible amount of time is spent enduring excessive waits for security, crowded airports, crowded planes, and a string of indignities well-recounted in other stories on this site… I’m glad someone is protesting, but what next?

    Doing my best to avoid flying altogether, but something’s gotta pay the rent.

    BTW, those folding chairs look pretty comfortable…lots more legroom…!

  12. Geekybiker says:

    not to mention those folding chairs have to be wider than the average economy seat. I swear they size those things for 10 year old kids.

  13. Buran says:

    @not_seth_brundle: I don’t see how they can legally stop you. They can’t ask for your medical records, and you are not obligated to answer if they ask.

    As we have found out in the receipt-check arguments, company policies do not have the force of law.

  14. P41 says:

    I’m a business traveler so I get around a bit. I’m also tall so I’m not just a whatever-is-fine type.

    I think the sleeziest thing about airlines is the “hey we just realized…” part. Like I hit the tail end of that thing last month at LAX. When I left for the airport, total news blackout: flight listed on time, no news reports about any problem. Even at the terminal only a single flight on the whole board was listed delayed. Only after the flight didn’t leave on time (10 HOURS after the problem happened, 5 hours they started to move again) did they finally admit it wouldn’t leave on time. People were taking videos of the crowd saying “Here we are at the american embassy at Saigon, plenty of seats on both helicopters”. Only sane people there were the police, they even opened the doors for some air without shooting the guy who stood there with his foot an inch out the door.

    Some tickets have to be changed before flight time or they’re worthless. The same thing should apply to the airlines: announce the delay ahead of time or have started boarding by the official departure time or else everyone flies free.

    And along with it is the push back from the gate (“an on time departure!”) followed by the hmmm I guess we’ll be here for an hour. I understand they need the plane gone from the gate, but they’ve got spare gates, they should be required to say we’ll be delayed, you can either get on now, or meet us over at gate XYZ in half an hour. And if they want to start their timer running for flight attendant pay or whatever the reason happens to be, fine by me. (PS, I wonder if the airphones have started working while you’re parked?)

    The next sleazy thing is the same day ticket change fee, even for standby. They’re saying We’re gonna keep that seat empty unless you pay up for the convenience of not waiting around the airport for the next flight.

    I was really early to the airport one time, they had plenty of extra seats on the flight before me but wanted $50 to change my flight. (I had only carry-on) I said no way and waited. Then MY flight was delayed. Do I get a $50 change fee from THEM? Nope.

    Not sleezy, just annoying: why don’t they put seat power anywhere in coach? Crap, you don’t have to put it in every seat, just put it some of the middle seats (You know, the ones you have trouble selling to people?) and see how many people suddenly want to reserve those exact seats. Oh I know, I’m supposed to pay $500+ bucks out of my own pocket to get to the same place at the same time, just hate it less.

    Economy Plus is awesome. More legroom for people who fly a lot. But except for that, there should be minimum legroom requirements across all airlines, or how about marking frequent fliers as not-the-airline-average-5’8″ and deserving not to get jammed in the knee by the seat in front?

    Oh and we need a consumerist story on UAL credit of star alliance partners. Yo, it’s been months, I know it’s not just me, not only should it have been credited immediately, I also sent in the paper boarding passes to you just like you wanted. Are they in a trash can thrown out by an ex-employee, err make that ex-friend never-employee?

  15. lockdog says:

    @dregina: Were we on that flight together. I only fly a couple of times a year, and almost invariably something like this happens to someone on the plane. The last time I was scheduled to fly out of Lexington the flight was canceled. My boss, who was traveling with me managed to get the last seat on the last flight out that evening and I was supposed to follow him at 6:30 AM the next morning. We had come to the airport in his car, so not only did I need to call up friends to get a ride home that evening, but I also needed to drag my wife and (then) 9 month old out of bed at 4 in the morning in order to get to the airport to find out my flight had been canceled…again. So they put us in a cab to Cincy. Exact same thing on the return trip, only this time it was a whole plane load of people who ended up in Cincy instead of Lexington and we waited three hours for a coach bus. But at least our bags weren’t lost, right!