Honestly, one of the most frustrating parts of flying is deplaning. You spend hours in a cramped metal tube hurtling through the sky at over 500 mph just to wait in your seat when you land at your destination. Then, don’t get me started on the slow shuffle to the door as passengers seated ahead of you get their things out of the overhead bins. Recently, JetBlue passengers went through something I’d consider a personal hell.
On Monday night, JetBlue Flight 676 departed JFK Airport in New York and arrived at Worcester Regional Airport in Massachusetts after midnight. The short flight landed at 12:15 am but didn’t actually park at the gate until 1:00 am. Why did the passengers have to wait 45 minutes to get off the plane? No JetBlue employee was on the jet bridge to connect the aircraft with the airport gate.
Passenger Sabrina Ruelle told WCVB in Boston:
“It was silence, then the pilot said, ‘I have something embarrassing to tell you guys — there is nobody to get you off the flight.’ They had no staff available to get us off the airplane. The state police were there and they were going to have to evacuate us, but then they got a hold of a JetBlue manager and had to have him drive from his house to the airport to let us off the airplane.”
JetBlue sympathized with their customers’ frustrations and promised to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. The airline also stated it is investigating the incident with its partner that operates the ground crew in Worcester. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all caused by staff shortage. Airlines have been dealing with staff shortages for the entirety of the pandemic, which sparked mass delays and cancellations under the slightest amount of pressure.