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Four JetBlue airliners stranded for seven hours on runway

This weekend's early-season snowstorm made life in the Northeast annoying for many, cutting power to millions and making travel treacherous. Among the most miserable were passengers on diverted jets stranded on the tarmac at a Connecticut airport.

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The Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection division is starting an investigation to determine exactly what happened with the aircraft at Bradley International Airport, near Hartford.

Audio released by LiveATC.net shows the pilot of one of the planes verging on emotional exhaustion as he begs for help to get to a gate so his disgruntled passengers, some of whom required medical attention, could disembark after being all but forgotten for seven and a half hours.

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Should the inquiry find the airlines at fault for the fiasco, the DOT's Tarmac Delay Rule directs that they pay a penalty of up to $27,500 per passenger involved in the episode.

Video Credit: AP

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DISCUSSION

On September 11th 2001 I was flying back from a meeting in London, we ended up getting grounded in Gander Newfoundland (I was bound for Detroit) at an itsy bitsy airport that was grossly ill-prepared for the amount of international flights that ended up landing there. I remember planes stacked on top of planes. Total time spent on the tarmac before we were de-planed and walking through customs? 2 hours. 7 hours is ridiculous, I understand the airport was over-run but it was nothing compared to what Gander went through. I mean, for peats sake Gander has a population of 10,000, it doubled on Sept. 11th. There has to be SOMETHING that can be done to avoid these long waits on the tarmac during poor weather, I mean something other then the worst terrorist attack in United States history.

As an aside, shout out to the folks in Gander, I met some locals there that are still friends to this day. They were truly welcoming people for all of us that were stranded there.