Problems in the Sky
August 24, 2009 by admncc
Mesaba Airlines, a unit of Delta Air Lines, found itself in some hot water last week after refusing to let passengers off of a Continental flight in Minneapolis.
ExpressJet (Continental) was cleared of any wrongdoing and the investigation has since turned toward Mesaba, who was in charge at the time because they had the only employees left in the airport.
What happened, you ask? Mesaba refused to let passengers off of the plane from 12:30 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. The plane’s toilet was full, there was no food and the plane stunk according to the Associated Press’ story. You can also read USA Today’s story on the incident.
The pilot was heard saying “that’s ridiculous” (when told that they couldn’t de-board the plane) on the recorded conversations, which you can listen to here.
I’ve done my fair share of flying over the years, and I could tell you horror story after horror story about airport hassles, airline waits, poor customer service, etc. And I can also remember extremely bizarre stories, such as my buddy Tom sitting stranded in an airport for 13 hours while one customer service representative took care of hundreds of angry customers. Or how many times my wife has been stranded or forced to rent a car and drive through the night because end-point destinations were cancelled at the last minute. I’m sure many of you can share personal stories too.
But doesn’t it seem like the stories are getting worse year after year instead of getting better? I truly believe that the people on that plane were falsely imprisoned. Maybe they should have tried to get out, even if it meant getting the authorities involved. Well, hey, at least they got a refund for their flight, a $200 travel voucher and a $50 American Express Gift Card. Yeah, that would make me feel better for being locked up for more than six hours. NOT.
Don’t get me wrong – I understand safety and agree that it should be their #1 priority. But I think what Mesaba did to those travelers was absolutely uncalled for. And I don’t blame them for being livid.