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?