The pilot of the ExpressJet plane that sat overnight on the tarmac at the Rochester, Minn., airport on Aug. 8 tried repeatedly to get permission to let her 47 passengers off the plane, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood writes in his blog.
A DOT investigation shows that a Mesaba Airlines representative improperly refused to let the jet into a gate, LaHood wrote, and the DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office is now “considering appropriate action to take against Mesaba.”
LaHood also noted that “more senior personnel” at ExpressJet and Continental should have gotten involved to resolve the situation. ExpressJet was operating the flight for Continental.
That’s right. When human beings are sealed in a cramped metal tube and held against their will for hours, it’s a crisis and should be treated as one.
That’s why we must pass an Air Passenger Bill of Rights.