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Stranded on the tarmac

Although I was home this holiday due in part to illness, I can understand the frustrations of those stranded on airplanes and in airports. It may come as a surprise to some that I have such empathy given I have written my dismay with the unbalance in new coverage by the 24 news services. As someone who at one point flew to a different city every week for work, I understand the frustration of stranded passengers. When the Passengers’ Bill of Rights came into being April 2010, I was overjoyed.

An associate of mine who suffers from anxiety spent 5 hours on the tarmac a few years before the bill and I myself have over 100 tarmac hours. It is beyond humane to leave people stuck on the tarmac for over an hour. There are some of us who become freaked out when the plane fails to move after an hour. It is especially hard when the air stops being circulated. The passage of the bill I thought was a life saver. I now know the bill does not apply to foreign airlines. Why are the planes of foreign nations not required to adhere to the rules established in our country?

When we go to other countries we are required to adhere to their rules. It allows those countries to keep the culture apple cart stable (i.e. covering women head to toe). Even when American corporations seek to do business in foreign nations, those corporations often have to modify their operational procedures for the local norm. It is not an accepted norm in America to leave people on the tarmac for 2 hours let alone 9 hours WTL (What the Love).

My final amount of frustration lies with the local authorities. Rather than choosing to do something about the plight of the people stuck on the tarmac, they chose to hide behind procedure. At some point in time (before 9 hours) they should have made arrangement for people stuck on the tarmac to rest inside the terminal. This snow storm is not the first in our nation and will not be the last for at least 50 more years. We should know now how to handle storms, delays, and passengers. Our government should have the authority to demand those who fly to our country abide by our laws. The travesties of this holiday season’s travel made being stuck in a hospital seem enjoyable.


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