Who doesn’t remember that disastrous run of JetBlue flights during which more than a 1,00 people flying the airline sat hostage on the tarmac for hours — one flight for more than 11 hours — during a New York snow storm in early 2007?
Since then, such tales have become less common in the airline industry, even as a passenger bill of rights continues to get shot down by the government.
But such delays still happen, as anyone flying TACA recently from El Salvador to LAX knows. Two-hundred passengers were stuck on the plane for nearly 9 hours last Sunday after the flight was diverted to a regional airport 45 miles to the east of LA due to heavy fog in the city.
Problem was, it seems that either TACA didn’t request that its passengers be allowed to disembark and clear immigration at this small airport, or local customs officials didn’t allow it. The result: Passengers were stuck on the plane most of the night, receiving only water and crackers from firefighters and airport personnel toward the end of the ordeal.
In all, the passengers’ trip to LA took more than 15 hours.