Monday, August 10, 2009

Airline leaves passengers stranded for 9 hours

What hath the "deregulation for me, not for thee" national religion wrought?

On Friday night, a cramped Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Minneapolis was diverted to Rochester, Minnesota, because of weather. This shouldn't have been a national story.

But Incompetental decided to make it one - by leaving the 47 passengers stranded on the tarmac for 9 hours after landing. They were provided almost no food.

The stranded plane was full of the stink of overflowing toilets and other unpleasantries - including perhaps many ruined vacations.

Airline officials say federal rules prohibited passengers from being released. Bull. And shit.

When the plane is on the ground after landing, you find a way to let the passengers off. Period. You don't wait until the airport is closed and the TSA inspectors have gone home.

And if the inspectors have gone home, tough shit. You release the passengers instead of stranding them for 9 hours.

Hell, everyone knows there are almost no federal rules governing airlines anyway. At least it seems that way. If there were, Continental never would have been allowed to maroon a whole plane full of passengers for that long.

I call it a hostage situation - corporate style.

The passengers were stranded until the following morning. Then they continued to Minneapolis on the same plane. By that time, the restroom had become so flooded it couldn't be used - which certainly is not safe.

Since the federal government won't restore airline regulation, the states need to step up to the plate and regulate airlines so this glaring display of dangerous greed and excuses is not repeated.


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