Jet Blue Tarmac Delay
November 1, 2011 by staff
Jet Blue Tarmac Delay, JetBlue Airways and American Airlines are facing huge U.S. fines Monday, after many of its passengers sat for hours on planes stranded on a snow-covered runway at the airport in Connecticut this weekend.
The Department of Transportation Division of Aviation Consumer Protection opened an investigation Sunday asphalt JetBlue delays that occurred during the weekend, according to a statement. The Department is also looking at several possible delays.
Passengers from at least three planes and a plane JetBlue American Airlines say they were stranded on the tarmac at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Connecticut, for seven hours or more after having been diverted from New York airports area on Saturday.
The ordeal continued after being left out and had to spend the night on cots and chairs in the terminal.
A spokeswoman for JetBlue, Victoria Lucia, confirmed in an email that six of its planes, carrying a total of 700 passengers were diverted to Hartford as a result of a “confluence of events”, including equipment failures in Newark and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport that prevented the aircraft landing in low visibility.
She declined to specify how long the aircraft sat on the track of Bradley, but noted that 17 companies other flights were also diverted to the airport.
Once the planes landed at Bradley, Lucia said intermittent power outages at the airport fueling and off the plane made difficult.
Heavy snow disrupted on Saturday, thousands of flights during the weekend. According to FlightAware.com, which controls air traffic, flight cancellations was 1261.
The storm also knocked out power lines, leaving millions without power and hinder the operations of the airport.
Andrew Carter, a reporter for the Sun Sentinel in Florida, en route to cover the Miami Dolphins game against the Giants in New York, departed from Fort Lauderdale to Newark Liberty at 9 am After being diverted to Hartford, the plane sat on the asphalt between about 1:30 pm and 9 pm, he said.
Carter said the team ran out of sandwiches and bottles of water in the final hours of the delay.
“The bathrooms were a backup. When you flushed, nothing would happen,” said
Kate Hanni, executive editor of FlyersRights.org, said he had received calls and emails from concerned passengers and family members in relation to at least four flights were stranded on the runway for up to 10 hours.
Brent Stanley and his wife were in one of those planes, an American Airlines flight that was aimed at JFK airport after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
After being diverted and land in Hartford at 2:30 pm, Stanley said the passengers were given several reasons why that is celebrated on the track, including the need to refuel and ice and the limited capacity of the airport management of international flights. He and his wife were eager to return home with their two small children in Lake Zurich, Illinois, but realized that was not so bad as parents who had children on the plane.
“There was a lady in front of us with a daughter aged 18 months,” said Stanley. “Another woman came to ask for diapers because we could not get our luggage.
After spending the night at the airport, Stanley was lucky to find two seats in a Sunday afternoon flight to Chicago. But the headache is not over, and his luggage on his way to JFK, because the airport Hartford team was not able to handle the international baggage, he said.
An American Airlines spokesman, Ed Martelle, said passengers were not allowed off the plane through customs at the airport. Martelle did not know the exact number of U.S. aircraft were diverted to Bradley or the time it sat on the tarmac.
Matt Shellenberger, who was on a JetBlue flight from Boston to John F. Kennedy said his plane was diverted to Bradley International and sat on the runway for seven hours.
The crew picked up the trash regularly and handed out water and snacks, and “everyone held their right,” he said. However, his frustration grew with every status update, the reasons for the delay was changing as the hours passed.
At first, passengers were told the plane was being refueled and would soon, Shellenberger said. Then they said it was icing. Then there was an emergency on another plane.
“They said they were the third plane of the line to reach the door at landfall,” he said. “Then we were on the plane for seven hours.”
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