AT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1188 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3060 times:
Given all the delays because of the weather, today is the right time to start this topic .
There seems to have been a number of such delays where passengers were held on board an aircraft for an inordinately long amount of time. Just today there was a jetBlue flight to Cancun whose pax were held for more than 7 hours.
Are there any rules, either airline rules or airport rules, or federal laws that regulate this?
And if not, should there be a time limit after which the passengers must by law have to disembark?
(as the rules that prohibit crews from working for more than a certain amount of time at a stretch).
Being held for 8 hours on the ground seems excessive no matter what the reason.And jetBlue's excuse of not having gate space doesn't fly (no pun intended).. Surely they had to have had some stair ramps or some mechanisms to evacuate the passengers.
Finally, given the prevalence of cell phones what is to stop passengers from claiming a medical emergency or the like? Or calling the News Media?
EWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5543 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3043 times:
Quoting AT (Thread starter): And jetBlue's excuse of not having gate space doesn't fly (no pun intended).. Surely they had to have had some stair ramps or some mechanisms to evacuate the passengers.
If there is no gate, it's snowing heavy (ice and rain, whatever), where on a slick tarmac do you want passengers along with fuel trucks, baggage trucks, lav trucks, de-icing fluid and other ramp equipment. Let alone the ramp is a secure area anyway?
I totally see your point, but the answer is not always cut and dry.
Jbernie From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2982 times:
Quoting AT (Thread starter): Finally, given the prevalence of cell phones what is to stop passengers from claiming a medical emergency or the like? Or calling the News Media?
How about calling for pizza or chinese delivery? The way people are I would be surprised if they hadn't tried to do this.
As much as I can't think of anything worse than being stuck in a plane on the ground for 7 or 8 hours... I would think it would be worse for the flight crew trying to take of the passengers with next to no food or beverages to last that amount of time.
A review of the rules & regulations is probably in order, but in saying that, unless you really can make a difference, it is probably the best of a bad situation all round.
Maybe something to consider, at least for inbound flights, is to force diversions at the point where the number of inbound flights is close to exceeding the expected number of outbound flights/free gates. If you reach a point where you have 50 total gates, 45 planes on the ground, with only 5 expected departures, the 5-10 closest planes are given conditional approval to continue, the rest are either returned to origin if close enough or divert to the nearest suitable airfield.
For the DEN blizzard at christmas, if the planes aren't leaving then the inbounds have to divert so you don't reach a point where the number of planes on the ground exceeds gates. In the example of blizzards they should factor in a % of gates that they expect will be unusuable. i.e. if you have 50 gates, assume at least 10% will be unusable due to snow banks etc.
Might be more possible to prevent the situations than to try and fix them once they are occuring. Obviously getting this setup is not what you would call an easy task. But having passengers sitting on planes on taxiways for periods of time longer than many an international flight does nothing for the image of the airlines (who will cop most of the blame) or the FAA and other organizations involved in controlling the skies and airports.
DALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2881 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2920 times:
There should be no excuse for keeping a loaded plane on the ramp for 7 hours. The big question is were to point the finger. I know it has to do with we need the gate for incoming flights to unload, but come on if there is an ATC hold that shows no sign of lifting, don't load the plane. Tow the empty plane to a remote stand. Sure it takes time, but it sure beats 120 pissed off passengers and a bunch of bad press on the national news.
IAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2830 times:
Quoting Jbernie (Reply 2): the FAA and other organizations involved in controlling the skies and airports
In this case the FAA or other organizations involved in controlling the skies and airports didn't keep those poor folks on the plane for that length of time, as much as we'd like to blame them for it.....JetBlue did it and they need to pay the criticism price for this event, and pretty sure they will.
Great thinking and lame excuse, "Reasons included congestion, frozen equipment and an effort to keep planes ready to go in case the weather broke, said JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin."
Hey Bryan, bet your boss is proud of that one! Ever heard of weather forecasts that seemed to be correct for a change, or weather reports from locations in the area the weather is coming from to see when the weather break might show up?
Guess some just won't learn from previous airlines experiences with this sort of thing.
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