Airlines Renege On Stranded Passenger Plan Promise

Airlines have broken their promise to make sure passengers are taken care of during long delays, the Transportation Department announced in a report yesterday. Here’s how they didn’t measure up:

  • No plans for supplying emergency food and drink
  • No time limit for how long passengers are kept on plane
  • No plan of how to get passengers off

Will a Passenger’s Bill of Rights force the issue?

US watchdog says airlines fall short on service [Reuters via Rick Seany]
(Photo: FlyGuy92586)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Pasketti says:

    I keep having this fantasy of being in a plane stuck on the runway for 5 or 6 hours, and then popping open that emergency door to escape…

    Yeah, I’d probably get arrested, but it’d be worth it.

  2. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    funny – I have been stuck on the tarmac for 2.5 hours and seriously considered calling 911

  3. Starfury says:

    If you’re on a plane for hours and it’s not going anywhere soon can you call 911 and say you’ve been kidnapped?

  4. Geekybiker says:

    Seriously more than 2 hours on the tarmac is absolutely uncalled for. Cancel the flight and let people off.

  5. ARP says:

    I’m sure that Federal regs and aviation laws will trump the claim of kidnapping, but it is a nice fantasy.

    Call me jaded, but any passenger BOR’s they come up with will be so full of holes that it will be meaningless. The airlines say they’re poor, but they magically have plenty of money to spend on lobbists and campaign donations to prevent any BOR from having any real teeth.

  6. LiC says:

    Would vomiting work? Not in the lavatory, but on the seats, carpet, stewards, everywhere? And then getting everyone else to do it too? I would vomit to get off a plane.

  7. ViperBorg says:

    @LiC: I don’t know if I’d be able to handle the smell. :/

  8. Hawkins says:

    I plan to claim to have chest pain. I’ve decided that three hours is the absolute maximum that I’m willing to be held against my will.

    After that, it’s shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness or squeezing in my chest, followed by severe pain radiating into the neck and arm. See [] .

    As an overweight forty-something stressed-out business-dude, I’m betting I can be off the plane in ten minutes.

    I can’t believe I’m contemplating this. I’m an honest, moral person. But I hate the airlines worse than lepers.

  9. pestie says:

    No plan of how to get passengers off

    If they want to get me off, I have some suggestions on how best to do that…

  10. CurbRunner says:

    Captive Airline Passengers

    What the airlines have going for themselves here, and they know it, is that Homeland Security now gives them carte blanch to treat stranded passengers’ and their expressed concerns with total disregard under the new anti-terrorist laws. With this legal coverage in place, there is no incentive for them to do anything different from their current disgraceful practices regarding the treatment of their captive customers. They can also take the economic advantages that holding passengers captive on the tarmac create for their bottom line.

    Any passenger that even mildly protests their captivity inside of a grounded aircraft, can now face the possibility of being heavily prosecuted for “interfering with” or “intimidating” flight attendants. Flight crew members are left to their own interpretation of what interfering or intimidating means.

    Under Federal Law, US Code § 46504, a passenger can get from 20 years to life in prison for making an airline employee feel uneasy. It doesn’t matter if the toilets are overflowing, if your kid becomes sick and needs medical treatment, someone needs food and water or is out of their heart medicine. Even just visually complaining by looking at a flight attendant the “wrong way” (intimidation), under the law, they can now subjectively interpret that you are attempting to interfere with a flight crew and you can automatically be considered a terrorist suspect. Even stating you concerns can be interpreted as they please.

    You can be arrested and then who knows where you’ll end up, maybe in Guantanamo with no habeas corpus rights or maybe you’ll just be disappeared.

    So just remember, when you’re aboard a plane, just sit down, shut up and take it…because you’re not only just another passenger…now you’re also just another hostage.

    If you want to help secure an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights, go here: []

    U.S. Code as of: 01/19/04
    Section 46504. Interference with
    flight crew members and attendants:

    An individual on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction
    of the United States who, by assaulting or intimidating a flight
    crew member or flight attendant of the aircraft, interferes with
    the performance of the duties of the member or attendant or lessens
    the ability of the member or attendant to perform those duties, or
    attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under title
    18, imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both. However, if a
    dangerous weapon is used in assaulting or intimidating the member
    or attendant, the individual shall be imprisoned for any term of
    years or for life.

  11. jamar0303 says:

    Get on an airline with better service then. Remember that just because airlines *can* do this doesn’t mean that they will. Find an airline that will treat you well and go with them (Virgin America for a start). For international flights, avoid US-based airlines and go with Asian carriers if at all possible, especially either of the Japanese carriers or Singapore Airlines.