Trains For America

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And you thought The Sunset had problems?

Continental Airlines encountered a “situation” that caused discomfort, danger and humiliation to its’ passengers. None of us should take pleasure in the problems of another transportation company, but if you want to see how terribly things can go from bad to worse, as it seems to happen so frequently on America’s rails, read this report from ABC News, part of which is highlighted below.

Because of bad weather, Continental’s July 19 Flight 1669 from Caracas, Venezuela, to Newark, N.J., was diverted to Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where it landed at 1:50 p.m. Passengers said after sitting on the grounded plane for hours, they began protesting by banging on overhead compartments, clapping their hands and even signing a petition asking to be let off.

“We were not provided with food,” said passenger Caroline Murray. “There were passengers who were ill. There was one woman who was diabetic. There was a pregnant woman with small children. It was shocking to me.”

As the 124 passengers repeatedly tried to get answers as to why they couldn’t land in Newark or get off the plane, someone caught the scene on film.

“When you’ve got passengers about ready to riot, you’ve got an air crew that’s not properly trained to communicate,” said ABC News aviation consultant John Nance.

At 6:30 p.m., homeland security officers finally allowed passengers to exit the plane, but their troubles didn’t end. The officers led them into a room, where they were held for two additional hours.

“We were removed from the plane and were forced to walk single file against the wall, flanked by armed officers one of whom had an attack dog,” Murray said.

Then it was back on the plane for an additional hour of waiting before the flight finally left for Newark. It landed around 10 p.m., nine hours late.

Continental Airlines said because Flight 1669 was international, federal law prohibited it from allowing passengers off the plane.

“[There is] no question, the flight took a lot longer than planned because of the diversion,” said a Continental spokesperson. “Assistance was provided to passengers with special needs.”

Filed under: Travel Woes

One Response

  1. “Continental Airlines said because Flight 1669 was international, federal law prohibited it from allowing passengers off the plane.”

    Oh, that’s so lame. Why is it called Baltimore-Washington *** International *** Airport then? Doesn’t that mean that they have Customs and Immigration facilities there? They could have processed them right then and there and then continued the flight as a domestic flights …

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