The northeastern U.S. was hit with a surprising snow storm over the weekend, leaving millions without power while dumping more than 2 feet of snow in some parts. The snow storm also played a role in delaying flights in the New York-area.
No one knows about this better, perhaps, than the passengers aboard JetBlue's flight 504, which sat on the tarmac for seven hours (!) at Connecticut's Bradley International Airport after being diverted from landing at Newark, NBC Connecticut reports. The flight landed at 1:30pm and proceeded to sit on the tarmac for seven hours.
At 6pm, passenger Andrew Carter Tweeted: "Still on the plane. We haven't moved. Now EWR closed. Getting ugly in here. People yelling wanting to get off." He later followed up with a few gems, including, "Lady on board just broke down. Like that guy who cried in his cell at the beginning of Shawshank. Can someone sneak me in Rita Hayworth?"
Passengers started calling 911; dispatchers told passengers that they'd received at least a dozen calls, a passenger told NBC Connecticut (watch video below).
After seven hours, a paraplegic on board had a medical issue; police and firefighters came on board to offer assistance.
Connecticut's governor Dannel Malloy, told NBC Connecticut that there were 23 flights diverted to Bradley on Saturday, two of which were JetBlue planes. The state was trying to move 1,000 cots to the airport as of late Saturday.
A passenger named Robert who refused to give his last name, told reporters after passengers got off: "At the three-hour mark they told us by law they had to let us off the plane. They were waiting for a tug to take us to a gate. We heard that same message at the four-hour mark, and continuing until state troopers boarded the plane for a medical emergency." He added, "I'll never fly JetBlue again, and I'll never fly through Connecticut again."
After being let off the plane, Andrew Carter Tweeted that he drove to New Jersey.
JetBlue released a statement Saturday night saying: "JetBlue is doing everything possible to ensure our customers affected by today's unusual combination of weather and infrastructure issues are being well cared for. We apologize for the experience."
Yet some passengers might not forgive easily. It was, after all, a doomed flight that created FlyersRights.org, started by Kate Hanni after her family was left stranded on the tarmac for nine hours. In 2007, a JetBlue flight was left stranded on a JFK tarmac for 11 hours.
The Department of Transportation has instituted a 3-hour tarmac rule, which this flight clearly violated.
UPDATE, 10/31:ABC News has obtained recordings of the pilot pleading with airport officials for help:
"I got a problem here on the airplane, I'm gonna need to have the cops on board. There's a cop car sitting in front of me right here right now. I need some air stairs brought over here and the cops brought onboard the airplane. Look, you know we can't seem to get any help from our own company, I apologize for this, but is there any way you can get a tug and a tow bar out here to us and get us towed somewhere to a gate or something," he said. "I don't care. Take us anywhere."
View more videos at: http://nbcconnecticut.com.