Apparently July 27 was a bad day to be flying out of New York’s JFK airport, thanks to severe thunderstorms in the area that prevented flights from taking off or landing. It was an even worse day to be on Delta Flight 621, which pushed away from its gate only to be cancelled before taking off. At that point, the tarmac was so congested that the plane couldn’t return to the gate for several hours.
How many hours, exactly? That fact is in dispute, with passengers claiming seven and Delta saying it was five. Nevertheless, it was a long time, especially since flight attendants were only handing out water and, according to one customer, warm Sprite. To its credit, Delta will be offering refunds and helping with alternative travel arrangements
Considering the outrage that followed a similar incident on JetBlue last year, you would think customers and industry pundits would be up in arms over this latest tarmac stranding (though, to be fair, JetBlue’s tarmac incident was accompanied by 1,000 cancelled flights). Well, not so much, and in fact there’s very little coverage of this story at all. Which begs the question: why?
Maybe we’re all so desensitized by the recent trend of bad airline news that our expectations are low enough to accept seven-hour (or five) delays on the tarmac. Or maybe it’s just because this situation wasn’t really Delta’s fault—there’s not much the airline could do about the weather or the congestion on the ground, is there?
So, as customers, should we be demanding a Passenger Bill of Rights, or simply thankful the industry is still in business? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.