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ExpressJet's 9-hour Hell

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- ExpressJet Airlines says it's sorry 47 passengers aboard a flight to Minneapolis were forced to spend a night trapped in a grounded plane during the weekend.

Airline spokeswoman Kristy Nicholas told Monday's (Minneapolis) Star Tribune that weather problems at Twin Cities International Airport Friday night forced the pilot of a Houston-to-Minneapolis flight to land in Rochester, Minn., where the regional jet sat on the tarmac for nine hours.

ExpressJet was operating the plane as a Continental Express flight, the newspaper said. ExpressJet's Web site says it flies more than 200 50-passenger Brazilian-made Embraer ERJ145 aircraft for Continental Airlines.

Nicholas told the newspaper that passengers couldn't be let off of the plane and into the terminal due to federal regulations. Security screeners at the Rochester airport had gone home for the night.

"That was not provided as an option by ground services personnel at the airport," she said.

Passenger Link Christin told the Star Tribune being inside the small jet for hours was like being trapped in a "sardine can" with overflowing toilets and crying babies.

"It's not like you're on a (Boeing) 747 and you can walk around," said Christin, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law.

Nine hours is beyond belief. I can't imagine they're not going to get hit with multiple lawsuits over this gross insult - and as much as I abhor attorneys and frivolous lawsuits, in this case entirely deserved it would be.

It seems to me, this sort of thing is becoming more common over time.

"Had to keep them on the plane due to Federal Regulations," said the airline. Horsehockey, says I. You take them off the plane, you make arrangements for them to stay at a hotel, and you bring them back the next day when the TSB personnel have come back.

There need to be "Federal Regulations" in place that say you can't keep passengers on a non-moving airplane for more than three hours without giving them options, regardless of what's happening on the ground.

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Aug. 10th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Remember during last administration, when Congrs tried to do something about an Airline Passenger's Bill of Rights, and the airlines lobbied against it, because if the airline are self-regulated, things like this can't happen but if the government gets involved everything will go wrong?
Aug. 10th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Well of course the airlines lobbied against it. Who would want to give up carte blanche to rape customers in the @$$ and treat them like hqiz in exchange for very high fees?

Air travel sure ain't what it useta be...
Aug. 11th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
They may have overestimated their own ability, but would you prefer a Reagan II?
Aug. 11th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Do they have a case of cruel and unusual punishment. What did the Passengers do to deserve it? As for Federal Regulation if this is how they treat customers they need it.


The Old Wolf

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