Monday, January 5, 2015

12 Hour Airline

From USA Today:
"Airline apologizes for 12-hour delay sitting on tarmac"

The Persian Gulf airline that just launched $21,000 luxury suites in the sky defended itself Monday after stranding passengers on a tarmac for 12 hours amid hellish conditions. Passengers on Etihad Airways Flight 183 from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco over the weekend were forced to stay holed up in the plane on the tarmac because of fog, resulting in what many described as a nightmarish, 28-hour trip with backed-up toilets and little food or water. Some said they got only one meal the entire time, then discovered lost or damaged luggage when they landed in San Francisco on Saturday night. "Although there was food on board, the crew did not feed the hungry, thirsty passengers and off loaded the meals," passenger Soofia Inayat wrote on Facebook. "There was no water and basic amenities like diapers, ice, snacks, clean drinking water." Passengers said the flight crew told them the Abu Dhabi airport was too crowded with other stranded flights from the fog to allow people to get off the plane to wait, according to the Associated Press. At U.S. airports, the "passenger bill of rights" limits tarmac delays to four hours for both U.S. and foreign airliners operating international flights. The law does not apply to flights at foreign airports. Joythi Bachwani said she was traveling with her 11-month-old baby, 7-year-old son and her mother, 69, who needs a wheelchair. "It took hours for the crew to give me hot water to make milk for my baby," she said. "While it is understood that there were weather-related problems, what I fail to understand is that while crew got replaced after few hours, the food, water and toilet supplies for passengers were not replaced properly," she said on Facebook. A 73-year-old man died on another Etihad flight Saturday after it was delayed even longer — 13 hours — from leaving Abu Dhabi for Düsseldorf, Germany, The National newspaper in the United Arab Emirates reported. That jetliner was diverted to Vienna because of the medical emergency. Airline spokeswoman Katie Connell said in an e-mail to USA TODAY, "Etihad Airways has apologized to passengers ... for the significant delay they experienced during the unprecedented fog disruption at Abu Dhabi Airport." Flight 183 had one of the longest delays because of the fog, Connell said. She said passengers were provided refreshments and an explanation of the situation. Passengers were kept on the aircraft "as all efforts were being made to secure a new departure time," she said. The delay was made worse by a requirement to replace the crew after they exceeded their flight time limits, Connell added. The airline said it booked passengers into more than 2,000 hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi during the weather delays Saturday and Sunday, according to The National.
Passenger Mike Vladimer posted a photo on Facebook showing a line of people in San Francisco filing complaints about lost luggage. Vladimer announced on Twitter the end of his "nightmare experience" with Flight 183 on Sunday: "I got my lost luggage. Guy says he dropped off 100+ bags!"

^ This is clearly an problem of the airline and shows that they only care about the very rich rather than the ordinary passengers (who make up the majority of their passengers.) There needs to be international standards set and followed that limits the time on-board a non-moving plane. The airlines should then be heavily fined and the passengers heavily compensated if they (the airlines) break the rule. It should be 2 hours for a domestic flight and 3 hours for and international flight no matter where in the world you are or what airline it is. This is just another poor-quality airline that treats its passengers as cattle rather than as people. ^

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