As others see it: A flying debacleBeing cooped up on a taxiway for 30 minutes in a hot airplane waiting to take off can be misery enough, but sitting on the tarmac for nearly seven hours waiting for weather to clear is inexcusable.
By: Bemidji Pioneer, Worthington Daily Globe
Being cooped up on a taxiway for 30 minutes in a hot airplane waiting to take off can be misery enough, but sitting on the tarmac for nearly seven hours waiting for weather to clear is inexcusable.
That’s what 47 passengers on Continental Flight 2816 had to endure this weekend when the flight from Houston to Minneapolis-St. Paul was diverted to Rochester because of intense storms over the Twin Cities.
While the plane sat 50 yards from the terminal building, the passengers were refused the request to disembark and wait it out in the more spacious and comfortable terminal.
It appears the airline is citing a national security issue, that Transportation Security Administration personnel had left for the night and the off-loading passengers couldn’t be searched.
It seems to us that there are many options, any of which would have been better.
The best one, one used earlier in the evening by another flight into Rochester, would be to bus the passengers the additional 85 miles to the Twin Cities and be done with it.
Another would be to release the passengers to the terminal, blocking them off from leaving the terminal building and thus being a security risk, Still another would be to simply call TSA workers at home and bringing them in to screen the passengers.
The worst was to let them sit for hours on a hot plane with crying babies, stinking diapers and no food and but one drink apiece. Not only is that a disservice to paying customers but also inhumane treatment. ...
There are no excuses for such miserable waits, and they must end. ...