What to do if you’re stuck on a runway?

Pack entertainment, toiletries, snacks, cash… and medications

The plight of passengers stranded in a plane on a runway for countless hours with no end in sight has been raised again this week. More than a hundred passengers were trapped on the tarmac in a JetBlue Airways aircraft for a full seven hours at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, USA, after being diverted in the bad weather that hit the north-eastern US.
According to US law, domestic flights are banned from standing for more than three hours. In this particular case it’s likely that the pilot, assuming a solution would be found, waited until the three hours were almost up before asking if the passengers could be let out. But complications surrounding the event prevented it. “Airlines are loathe to let passengers off a plane in situations like these because they don’t want to pay for hotel, food and taxi vouchers,” a passenger rights advocate says. Passengers can now expect at least a round-trip refund from the airline.
If caught in such a situation, passengers should never get aggressive or try to open one of the doors, as they may then be criminally prosecuted. All they can do is prepare: buy water after airport security; charge phones before the trip; and take entertainment, toiletries, snacks, cash and any prescribed medications.
[photo courtesy Riga International Airport]


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