Virgin Passengers Not Named Madonna Wait 3 Hours To Get Off Plane

When bad weather forced a London-bound Virgin flight to reroute from Heathrow Airport to Stansted, passengers had to wait three hours on the tarmac before they could disembark. A select group did, however, get to leave the plane after about an hour. No, they weren’t disabled, sick or parents with small, noisy children. The group making an early exit consisted of once-popular singer Madonna and her entourage of about 15 people.

Other passengers on the New York-London flight were indignant — especially the other first class fliers, who thought they were entitled to special treatment. As reported by the Daily Mail:

According to fellow passengers in upper class, Madonna and her entourage were allowed off first and whisked away by bus to the terminal two hours before everyone else. But not before she handed out some impromptu in-flight entertainment.

Says one passenger: “It was bad enough having to wait, but then she started doing her yoga in the aisles.

“After about an hour, a bus came along and took her and her party of about 15 off the plane. It seemed a ­little unfair — it’s not like she is the President or anything. The rest of us all had to wait for another two hours.”

Virgin issued a statement saying it was common for “business and first-class passengers to disembark first.” In this case, though, there was apparently at least one more class of passenger. “Madonna was taken off the plane way before the rest of the first-class people,” a member of the normally privileged upper classes told the Daily Mail. “We were all grumbling about it.”

RICHARD KAY: Queen of pop enrages the upper class [Daily Mail via LA Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. c!tizen says:

    How long did the sexually active passengers have to wait?

  2. tedyc03 says:

    Buy 16 first-class international airfares from the United States and perhaps you’ll get your own bus to the terminal, too.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      I’m sure all the other 1st class passengers added up to more than 16 people and paid just as much for their tickets.

      • XianZhuXuande says:

        You missed the point. Madonna is flying a whole entourage of people, and probably does that frequently. Those other folks are flying themselves and even though they’re first class they don’t have anywhere near as much an impact on the airline.

        Sucks for the other entitledy-feely people in first class, but when you dish out more money for a business, that business tends to treat you with greater priority.

        • Mom says:

          Silly me. I was thinking it was the other way round. If they could get a bus to get Madonna and her 16 people off the damn plane, why couldn’t they get a bus out there to get everyone off?

          • Pax says:

            ^^^This. This, a thousand times. ^^^

          • th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

            Because everyone else isn’t Madonna. Are we going to go back and forth on this? It’s obvious it was bias but they’re not going to admit it.

            • spamtasticus says:

              You guys are being blinded. I don’t particularly like Madonna but this is not about her. Just imagine that an airline has oversold a flight and there are 10s of people pissed off that it was oversold. One of them goes up to the attendant and calmly tells them that if they don’t get them on the flight right now he will write an eloquent and damming post on TheConsumerist.Com and fire off a massive email carpet bomb then piss on the ashes. The attend and realizes this one is not one to be messed with while the rest are just bitching and moaning. She gets him on the plane. Is it somehow that guys fault that the airline is a disaster?

        • Griking says:

          But what I don’t get is that if it was safe for Madonna to leave the plane then what was the delay for the others for?

        • spamtasticus says:

          I hate to tell you but those people are not “entitledy-feely”. They are entitled. Period. When you work your ass off and make enough money to go to the air line and pay them 5 times what you pay for a seat in order to be given better food and service you are in fact, entitled to better food and service. Everyone here is very very confused. The only gripe is why where these people made to sit for hours by the airline after some of the passengers where able to get off. None of this is the passengers fault. even that gas bag Maddona.

      • Clearly says:

        Depending upon aircraft configurations, the upper class (Virgin’s name for ‘international first class’) seating can be very limited. Sometimes as few as 12 seats.

        Here for example is a Virgin 747 with just 14 upper class seats.

        Upper class and ‘international first class’ is a far far different thing than domestic US first class.

    • nonsane says:

      Plus the promotional work she did for them
      the “Like a virgin” campaign :P

  3. skrolnik says:

    Tis the season.

  4. JMH says:

    “Madonna was taken off the plane way before the rest of the first-class people. We were all grumbling about it.”

    In other words: Special treatment is fine when *I* get it, but when it’s *someone else* I complain.

  5. Southern says:

    If she had a concert to get to, they (Virgin) were probably afraid of getting sued for the cost of a cancelled concert (not to mention the bad PR – “Madonna cancels concert due to Virgin’s inefficiency!”)

    If it was for pretty much anything other than a concert though, she should have waited along with everyone else. Although they were probably still worried about the negative PR (not that it’s going to turn out much better for ’em THIS way).. :-)

    • Vandon says:

      I don’t think they are worried about PR, just being sued. Otherwise, they’d have opened the damn door to the walkway to allow Kevin Smith to board the plane.

    • ludwigk says:

      She’s not on tour. She lives in London.

    • e065702 says:

      International Carriage laws preclude any possibility of Madonna, or anybody else, suing a carrier for ancilary losses. It would not even make it past the first layer of litigation.
      That is etched in stone.

  6. donovanr says:

    This is the kind of BS that makes me not feel one iota for these people when their lives are full of drugs and drama.

  7. bifjamod says:

    “once-popular singer Madonna” …. It might have been worthwhile just to see that reference…..

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      And that “LIKED BY VIRGIN” tag? Awesome.

  8. Nobby says:

    Look, this is the least the could have done for her. After all, she did make a whole frickin song about this airline.

  9. Nobby says:

    If someone made a whole song about the airline I own, I’d let them leave first too.

  10. El Sabor Asiatico says:

    In fairness, though, I think it was pretty magnanimous for Madonna to even allow other passengers to be on the same airplane as herself.

  11. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Doing yoga in the aisle? What?

    Are we playing the Mike Walker Game because I want to call this the fake story.

  12. mannyvel says:

    You know the economy is bad when Madonna takes commerical flights. What’s next, Ryanair?

  13. msbask says:

    Things like this piss me off because it’s clear that Virgin could have disembarked the whole load of passenger (if you can get 15 off, you can get the rest off, too) they just didn’t want to.

    For what reason was everyone on the plane waiting?

    • Southern says:

      They had to close Heathrow due to weather, and the alternate airport just wasn’t prepared to handle the overflow of 100+ planes all trying to land and disembark at the same time.

    • humphrmi says:

      My guess is that the pilots and FAs weren’t keeping them on the plane just so they could smell their farts and endure their petty grievances. In all likelihood, there was one HM Revenue & Customs agent on duty at the time, waiting for more to arrive to process the plane, and he said “Hell no, you’re not unloading a planeload of people on me!” (or, it might have been bullocks, bloody rubbish, get stuffed, etc., and he might have called someone a wanker or even a tosser) and then Virgin talked him in to taking 15 “special” passengers while they wait for the rest of the lads, and he probably still swore and called someone randy, but Sir Richard felt better.

  14. Arcaeris says:

    Well, I don’t mind if the Virgin Mary gets to get off the plane before me. Maybe some of you jerks want the mother of Jesus to wait, but not me, especially this close to his birthday.

  15. ironflange says:

    I, for one, would have welcomed the opportunity to not have to look at her arms any more than necessary.

    • redskull says:

      True that. I saw a recent photo of her with arms bared, and it appears she’s suffered a horrible accident and had to have her real arms replaced with a series of cables and pulleys covered with beef jerky.

  16. Coles_Law says:

    Consider the alternative: “Over 100 passengers trapped on plane with Madonna for three hours”. There’s a reason to grab a beer and deploy the emergency slide.

  17. waltcoleman says:

    And why exactly was the bus incapable of returning and picking up more passengers?

    • Southern says:

      According to the article, because there were {many} other planes ahead of them (from 3 closed airports, not just Heathrow), and they didn’t have enough buses.. So yeah, they made an exception for Madonna, then probably went back to the first plane in the queue.

      RHIP, I guess.

  18. Nick says:

    You’d think she’d have her own jet by now. Really.

    • cigsm says:

      She did. Two of them in fact. However sold it before headlining Live 8 in the name of going green.

      For her tours however, she still rents one. I think that’s actually admirable that one of the most famous women on the planet and one of the richest females in the world flies commercial whenever possible to go green.

  19. Jessie Ventura says:

    Maybe Virgin is trying to lure her away from her current record label. Keeping her locked up on a plane with all the peasants isn’t going to help her realize how much “synergy” Sir Dick Branson’s company has.

  20. Mudilo says:

    OMG! Free flights to everyone on the plane AND everyone commenting on this thread! This is a disgrace!

  21. human_shield says:

    Wait, a celebrity was given special treatment? Unbelievable!

  22. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    A celebrity got special treatment? Imagine that. Next thing you know, Lindsey Lohan is going to end up getting special treatment during her probation.

    Oh wait…

  23. PLATTWORX says:

    If I was Madonna, I would have been off that plane and on a private bus on far less than an hour.

    The airline did this and other than doing some voga, it sounds like she was very well mannered and polite while waiting. The news here is?

  24. cigsm says:

    “Once Popular singer Madonna” Marc?

    That “once popular singer” is the best selling female artist in history, has had more Top 10 hits than anyone but The Beatles & just came off of the highest grossing female tour in history (she knocked HERSELF off the #1 spot, and now owns the #1, #2, #4 & #7 highest grossing tours).

    The last single (4 Minutes) from her last album (Hard Candy) went to #1 on 4 Billboard charts, sold over 2 million copies in the US alone & hit the #1 spot in 31 other countries. The album, which debuted at #1 in 38 countries, has sold almost 10 million copies worldwide.

    She also co-produces and co-writes her own stuff. Not to mention, is a marketing genius and a game changer in pop music history.

    So um….yeah.

  25. cigsm says:

    I should also mention, that Madonna owned a jet, but sold it before headlining the Live8 show.

  26. KyBash says:

    Sitting on a plane for three hours — voucher for free flight.

    Getting rid of Madonna — priceless.

  27. Charmander says:

    Yes, she got special treatment because she was a celebrity.

    So what?

    The other first class passengers are a bunch of whiners.

  28. gman863 says:

    Does this signal a change in the lyrics to a Madonna song?

    “I’m on Virgin…treated like a prissy-ass bitch…”

  29. SmackmYackm says:

    Let me just add a great big Fuck You for any of you apologists out there who feel Madonna, or anyone else for that matter, should ever under any circumstances receive preferential treatment over another human being.

    If you ask me, they should take first class out of all planes. Everyone flies the same, or no one flies at all. Fuck anyone who thinks they deserve better just because they have more money or dropped out of the right vagina.

    • Gulliver says:

      Yes, and no person should ever be able to buy a car beyond a Hyundai Accent. What right do those people have to buy a car that meets THEIR needs. Why should Virgin be allowed to make a profit and sell to those who are WILLING to pay for larger seats, or food and drinks in first class. All people must be equal, down to what they are ALLOWED to purchase. I guess in your world we should all dress in the cheapest clothes, buy only food that is approved by you as being not too “discriminatory”. They should buy computers that YOU deem appropriate. NO, you can not buy broadband internet service, since dial up works just fine. A smartphone is just another tool of the man to keep you down.
      If you had half a brain you would be dangerous, but since you have not reached that level, you are laughable.

    • SBR249 says:

      Da, comrade!

  30. stevied says:

    Getting a bus to remove passengers as groups seems quite appropriate, but couldn’t the bus have returned for other passengers?

    Oh, it was a SPECIAL Bus.

  31. rndmnmbr says:

    Madonna got off the plane early because she has an agent/manager to handle problems. If the average person were to employ such a person – long list of contacts, good at negotiation, knows the right mix of ass-kissing and authoritative demands to make things happen, greases the right palms, commands a salary of $100k+ for their work – they too would have had their own personal bus to get them off the plane.

    Madonna doesn’t get special treatment just because she’s Madonna. Madonna gets special treatment because she spends a lot of money on a person who is good at making problems go away.

  32. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Everyone is lucky her entitled ass was taken off as quickly as possible. Being stuck on a plane with Madonna for more that a few minutes would be hell.

  33. awer25 says:

    “Says one passenger: “It was bad enough having to wait, but then she started doing her yoga in the aisles.”

    Maybe that’s why she got off first. Good riddance.

  34. Gulliver says:

    I am disgusted by all the hate on Madonna for this. When an average person goes to a business and gets a better deal from a company, is it that person’s fault they are a better negotiator than you are? If the others on the plane could not get off, talk about Virgin. Madonna and her people did what SHE needed to do to get off the plane. If you have a problem with it, talk to VIRGIN, not Madonna. She did NOTHING wrong.

  35. TBGBoodler says:

    “Once-popular.” I love it. Sounds like they did the other passengers a favor by getting her off the plane.

  36. AngryK9 says:

    Why anyone cares about a 1980’s Marilyn Monroe wannabe is beyond me.

  37. oldwiz65 says:

    The airlines always bend over backwards to cater to celebrities. Airlines don’t really care that much about regular passengers anyway. Have you tried to eat anything served in-flight recently? I think you would get better food in Gitmo.

  38. jimmyhl says:

    It really shouldn’t matter that it was Madonna. Everyone who flies wants off the plane once it lands. No one flies so that they sit on the plane any longer than necessary. Virgin ‘s explanation is not at all convincing and the other passengers who got stuck have a lot to be upset about. They were treated badly perhaps even unlawfully.

  39. Press1forDialTone says:

    Having to endure the insufferable now wanna-be Madonna on a flight – borderline waterboarding
    Stepping on Madonna (and her screaming a good old Detroit expletive) and then you emitting an “oh if you have been a real celebrity I might have seen you” – priceless

  40. HiFiGuy says:

    Time goes by… SO SLOWLY.