HARTFORD, Conn. - 200 passengers got on board JetBlue Flight 504 in Fort Lauderdale Saturday, bound for Newark, New Jersey. But when snowfall diverted the aircraft to Hartford, Connecticut, the travelers had no idea what they were about to experience.
They would be stuck in the airplane on the tarmac for more than seven hours.
Sports writer Andrew Carter from our news partner the Sun Sentinel was among the frustrated passengers.
While on board, Carter was updating his Twitter followers about deteriorating conditions.
"This is awful customer service. And I have no interest in flying through a snow storm. Train, please," he Tweeted. "We're on Tarmac. No water. Bathrooms don't work. Don't know the reason why we're stuck," he wrote, after several hours at a stand-still.
Bryan Glazer works in public relations and used to represent JetBlue as a client. He said he understands the toll a delay such as this can take.
"I wouldn't want to be on that airplane," Glazer said.
Glazer said that weather problems and airport infrastructure issues, like those being blamed in this instance, will always plague airlines, and in turn, passengers.
"It's very unfortunate for a lot of passengers to endure that kind of stress, anger, frustration of being encapsulated in a cabin," said Glazer.
Carter's Tweets continued. "Still on the runway. Still blizzarding outside. Aren't there rules about how long they can make people sit here?," he wondered.
The passengers boarded at 10 a.m. but did not exit until after 9 p.m., to which Carter Tweeted: "We're off the plane, folks! Thanks for the support and the laughs. Total time spent on the plane, including flight: 11.5 hours."
The Department of Transportation will soon determine if JetBlue will be fined for violating the tarmac delay rule in this case - a possible fine of up to $27,500 per passenger. JetBlue is refunding everyone who was on Flight 504.
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