Friday, February 16, 2007

Drishtikone Perspective Blog: Blues of the JetBlue Passengers!

Blues of the JetBlue Passengers!
Submitted by Desh on 2007, February 16 - 1:33pm.

Digg this!

Should the airline be named JetGlue? The Passengers kept waiting for 10 - 11 hours IN THE PLANES and the airlines did not get them out! It is tough enough to last a 10 hour flight anyways.. but the hope that you are at least getting somewhere .. somehow diminishes the drudgery of sitting through the 10 hr ordeal.. but what about these hapless passengers? They were stuck right there.

Hundreds of passengers who were stranded on parked JetBlue planes for up to 101/2 hours could have been evacuated sooner if the airline had not waited to ask airport officials for help, the company founder said Thursday.

The airline acknowledged that it hesitated nearly five hours before calling in shuttle buses to unload 10 jets that spent the day sitting on runways at Kennedy Airport because of icy weather and gate congestion.

While they waited, exasperated passengers sat within sight of the terminal without food, adequate restrooms or a reasonable explanation as to why they were not moving.

JetBlue officials finally phoned the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs area airports, at 3 p.m. to ask for staircases and buses to get people off the planes and back to the terminal.

"We should have called them sooner," said JetBlue founder and CEO David Neeleman.

Once they did, some passengers were free within 30 minutes. Others had to wait while the Port Authority shoveled out snow-covered equipment and rounded up drivers.

Many of the stranded passengers did not return to the terminal until 6 p.m. Most had boarded their aircraft around 8 a.m. Some of the jets were incoming flights that had been on the ground since 10 a.m. Six flights were stranded for more than eight hours.

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