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#234928 - 11/01/11 05:39 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: Frisket]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
Big +1 on the ear plugs Dagny! In any group that size there is always more than enough noise to go around.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#234929 - 11/01/11 05:46 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: TeacherRO]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
Its good to remember - Its not that it was impossible to get off, its that someone decided not to drive a stairs over to the plane. ALL airports have portable stair units for passengers to walk down and into the building. They decided not to use them.


The article indicates that the airport was struggling with lots of snow and power outages:

Originally Posted By: WallStreetJournal

After landing, the planes reportedly sat on the tarmac for up to seven hours as snow piled up around them and the airport struggled with intermittent power outages, according to JetBlue.


If that article is nearly anywhere close to accurate you would need to use one snow cleaning machine to prepare the route for the portable stairs (which typically are motorized, and will get stuck in snow). Probably you'd also want to use a shuttle bus to ferry them from the stairs. You don't send 200 frustrated airline passengers walking for perhaps half a mile in a blizzard.

I'm speculating here, but I would guess that the airline company has absolutely no authority over the snow cleaning equipment. Which would be busy trying to keep the runway and taxiways clear, not really bothering about some plane parked in some airplane parking lot.

I would also guess that anyone capable of commanding the combined use of stairs and snow cleaning equipment would be totally overwhelmed with the calamity of the situation.


EDIT: I can't imagine those in charge of an airport saying "NO" to a clearly stated request for a quick assistance to relieve 200 passengers from more hours in discomfort (such as using one snow truck for 10 minutes). That request was probably never made.

Making that kind of requests requires that you A) think a little creative beyond protocol, B) takes initiative, and C) know who you should ask.


Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
And all 22 gates busy for every minute of the 7 hour delay...hard to imagine.



Also, those 22 gates could very well be occupied for the whole time by planes that were waiting for the situation to improve before going anywhere.


Edited by MostlyHarmless (11/01/11 06:01 PM)

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#234931 - 11/01/11 05:58 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: Frisket]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 857
Loc: Southern California
Book(s), a place to refill my water bottle, munchies, and working bathrooms and environmental controls, and I'm good. For a complete screwup, add in water purifier tablets and a change of clothes. I got stuck on a train a couple of years back with no air condition, no flushing toilet, and a 5 hour delay. The water bottle and a pair of shorts and t-shirt made life easier for me then most of the other passengers.

A couple of people are going to get clobbered for this one. The 7 hour AmericanAirlines delay was the fault of US Customs who refused to let anybody deplane from the Paris flight. I don't know what happened with the Jetblue flights since that was domestic.
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Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#234934 - 11/01/11 06:21 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: Frisket]
Fred78 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 20
Loc: US
Well there is a 3 hr DOT limit for domestic flights, however there is no DOT defined time limit for international flights.

There are policies and procedures in place to deal with this kind of situation, and at certain time intervals the crew should determine if any passengers wish to deplane and not continue on the flight, and then coordinate with ground personnel to make that happen.

Course in a blizzard neat policies and procedures don't always function the way they are supposed too, but 7 hours seems extremely excessive.

Edit: Course there are always exceptions that include safety or security reasons, which includes weather.


Edited by Fred78 (11/01/11 06:28 PM)

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#234935 - 11/01/11 06:24 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: MostlyHarmless]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3545
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
EDIT: I can't imagine those in charge of an airport saying "NO" to a clearly stated request for a quick assistance to relieve 200 passengers from more hours in discomfort (such as using one snow truck for 10 minutes). That request was probably never made.


There's a transcript of the pilot talking on the radio to the airport that very clearly says otherwise.

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#234937 - 11/01/11 06:51 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: chaosmagnet]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland

I wonder what the tower and airport authorities would have done if the pilot declared a formal emergency that was a threat to the passengers? Say someone could not stand it anymore and was smoking in the lavatory, and threw a lit cigarette but in the towel bin, causing a smokey fire?

I assume the airport would have found a way to get the passengers out and to safety.

Now, why couldn't they simply declare the same emergency and get everyone out? I fear the that "the rules" simply prohibited it.

My trapped on a plane experience: Mid-70's trapped on a 747 grounded overnight by a snow storm at Dulles International Airport, which had been diverted from NYC when JFK shut down due to same storm; we were coming in from Frankfurt. No food, no water. Dulles was my destination. We sat there, flew back to JFK the next AM, went through customs, got on another plane and flew back to Dulles. Stated reason by Pan Am: customs procedures.
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#234939 - 11/01/11 07:05 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: Frisket]
Fred78 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 20
Loc: US
The "trash bin" in the lavatory is actually equipped with a fire extinguisher now days for just that reason.

Declaring an emergency isn't something you do just because you're uncomfortable, but because there is a very real threat to the folks onboard.

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#234942 - 11/01/11 07:43 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: Fred78]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: Fred78
The "trash bin" in the lavatory is actually equipped with a fire extinguisher now days for just that reason.

Declaring an emergency isn't something you do just because you're uncomfortable, but because there is a very real threat to the folks onboard.


oops, sorry, I didn't intend to imply a false emergency be declared; only that 1) the folks needed help and 2) there must have been equipment available (the emergency equipment) that could have gotten them off the plane.

IMO, the conditions on the plane called for evacuation. The same equipment used in a fire on board could have gotten them to the terminal.
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#234945 - 11/01/11 08:59 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: Frisket]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
For a plane stuck for 7 hours, there's a high chance at least one person was beyond merely "uncomfortable" and had an emergency situation. Non-working toilets alone for that long are pretty high on the priority list. Was there at least one baby/small infant on the plane? Did anybody have health issues?

It may be easy to think of this matter in terms of one's own needs as a fully healthy adult. However, I can't imagine all people on the plane fall into the category of "fully healthy adult". In this type of closed environment, problems of others become shared problems after a certain amount of time.
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If you're reading this, it's too late.

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#234946 - 11/01/11 09:53 PM Re: People Stuck on Tarmac for up to 7 Hours [Re: bws48]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3545
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: bws48
I wonder what the tower and airport authorities would have done if the pilot declared a formal emergency that was a threat to the passengers? Say someone could not stand it anymore and was smoking in the lavatory, and threw a lit cigarette but in the towel bin, causing a smokey fire?


I'm no pilot.

With that said, in that sort of emergency, the passengers would have been evacuated immediately via the inflatable slides.

Quote:
I assume the airport would have found a way to get the passengers out and to safety.


The declared emergency would have stopped other operations and the firefighters would have responded.

Quote:
Now, why couldn't they simply declare the same emergency and get everyone out? I fear the that "the rules" simply prohibited it.


I'm no lawyer, either.

With that said, that would have been a false distress signal, a federal felony.

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