The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is ExpressJet Airlines. They get the award for the following-
By its sixth hour sitting on a deserted tarmac, Continental Express Flight 2816 had taken on the smell of diapers and an overwhelmed lone toilet.This is just plain unacceptable. Have the airlines learned anything from the weather related incident from a few years ago when some airline passengers were kept on planes for half a day. The airline is transporting people not cattle, and airline employees should have sufficient enough brain matter to know that keeping any number of people confined to a plane with no ability to exit or get food, drink, or plumbing is just plain inhumane. How would they like to be treated in the same fashion.
What should have been a 2 1/2-hour trip from Houston to Minneapolis had moved into its ninth hour, and the 47 passengers on board had burned through the free pretzels and drinks handed out early in their Friday night flight from Houston.
Passengers on another flight that had been diverted to the airport in Rochester, Minn., because of storms were allowed to disembark and were put on a bus that would take them the 85 miles to Minneapolis. And the terminal, where passengers could at least stretch their legs, breathe fresh air and use the vending machines, was a mere 50 yards away.
But it wasn't until 6 a.m. Saturday — six hours after landing — that Flight 2816's passengers were allowed out of the plane.
The airline apologized to the customers affected, but also tried to pass the blame to the airport in Minnesota.
Kristy Nicholas, a spokeswoman for ExpressJet Airlines, said passengers couldn't go to the Rochester terminal to wait out the storms because they would have needed to redo their security screening and screeners had gone home.I agree with Mr. Leqve. Passengers could have been disembarked into the terminal. I name ExpressJet Airlines today's Knucklehead of the Day.
The airport's manager, Steven Leqve, said that wasn't true. Leqve said passengers could have waited in a secure area until their plane was cleared to leave.
"This is not an airport issue. This is an airline issue," he said.