Saturday, August 18, 2007

Revolution Works! (Kinda)

Continental Airlines abused its passengers in the time-honored fashion: it imprisoned 120 of them on a runway in Baltimore for several hours.

Not entirely the airline's fault--it was bad-weather related.

Passengers were not happy, and eventually forced the airline to let them debark.

...passengers organized and protested by clapping in rhythm and drumming on overhead bins. Finally, the pilot, worried about mayhem, called the police.

“People were clapping, but nobody got out of hand,” said Israel Niezen, a developer of interactive media who was returning to his home near Los Angeles through Newark when Flight 1669 was diverted to Baltimore Washington International Airport.

“We wanted answers, rather than mixed signals,” Mr. Niezen said. “Some people were getting sick. The flight attendants were understanding, except for one older one who got on the public-address system when the drumming started and told us we were destroying airline property and we were all going to be arrested.”

Bitch-of-the-Year nominee.

Naturally, since it was an international flight, the airport cops were courteous:

As passengers described it, once the police ordered the plane emptied, they filed out into the secure area, where some said they felt as if they were being treated like suspects.
“As we walked down the hallway, we were yelled at like we were scary criminals by this female cop who had a dog. She kept yelling: ‘Stay against the wall!’ ” Mr. Niezen said.

Yo' Mama Can't Dance is the name of that tune...

HT: Balko


RAG said...

They probably would have been let off the plane quicker had they broke out into Gregorian chant and then recited the moto poo-poo backwards in chant.

Long overdue: Airline passenger's bill of rights.

Billiam said...

Backwards Chant Is WAY too hard! Ever notice Airline toilets always quit working when the plane is stuck on the runway? They need bigger tanks..

Anonymous said...

Everyone is quick to blame the air carriers in these situations. In the Continental scenario, the flight arrived from outside the U.S., therefore, Continental cannot just let passengers disembark. The fact that passengers were eventually let off the aircraft had NOTHING to do with the stupid "petition" that was signed (funniest thing I have ever heard). Remember something called immigration control? Why don't people point fingers at the government for not making available a place to process customers arriving from Int'l locations? The airlines hands were tied in that one. Do you think for one minute the crew WANTED to be on that plane? Hell no. They probably wanted off just as bad as everyone else. Or, maybe they should have just attempted a landing in bad weather. Maybe it takes a crash for people to understand WHY planes divert. Thankfully, someone is concerned for your saftey. Although the situation was not the best, it could have been worse.

Dad29 said...

S'pose it's just possible that Continental could have CALLED Immigration Control?

You know, yelled real loud and demanded that some IC folks step over to supervise?

They should have, a lot earlier than they did.