There is definitely, absolutely, positively no excuse for the health- and even life-endangering nightmare suffered by the passengers on JetBlue Flight 405 bound for New Jersey’s Liberty Airport but diverted to Bradley Airport last Saturday.  Criminal charges should be considered against JetBlue and Bradley officials responsible. It would be not only a deterrent against future airlines and airports actions but justice for the passengers. It is state prosecutors duty to investigate whether charges of unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor (for the children on-board) charges apply. And it should be done immediately.

The airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights clearly means nothing to JetBlue or Bradley.  They violated just about every “right” listed pertaining to tarmac wait times including the one that says carriers must ensure that passengers stuck on the tarmac are provided adequate food and water after two hours, as well as working lavatories and any necessary medical treatment.  And the one that says they be let off the plane after three hours. These passengers were on the tarmac at Bradley for more than seven hours!—the whole ordeal taking 11 hours when flight is factored in.

There are other facts coming out from the ordeal seemingly every day.  One of most troubling was the case of Jimmy brown, a paraplegic since a car accident.  He tells his own story, including the fact that he had to urinate in his wheelchair on-board the flight from hell.

View more videos at:

The audio of the communication between the pilot and the airport showed a very agitated and frustrated captain.

View more videos at:

Malloy to stranded JetBlue passengers: “[At least you didn’t] Drop Dead!”
The alteration of the famous New York Daily News headline is inspired by the governor’s less-than-sympathetic response to the passengers held captive on Bradley’s tarmac.  Malloy said, “Everyone who landed at the airport, no matter how long they were on the plane, they didn’t crash…so we gotta put things in perspective.”  Wow. That’s where Malloy puts the bar—if you’re not dead, suck it up.

Malloy’s first days in office last January were spent handling the major winter storm we had; and he did it flawlessly.  He also showed great leadership in handling Tropical Storm Irene.  Maybe this latest storm—and the near hourly news conferences—have finally gotten to him.  Telling captive passengers to basically, “Stop whining, at least you’re not dead” is un-Malloy-like

His patience is also clearly pushed to the limits because:
1. A union guy called him “The idiot governor”
2. The out-of-town power restoration crews are slow to arrive, if they arrive at all
3. Complaints about the greedy utility companies are being hurled at him
4. Someone guy in a wheelchair had to pee himself because of the flight from hell

In any event, things are not exactly going the governor’s way. The Master of the Natural Disaster has some serious chinks in his armor.

Patrick Scully is the author of The Hanging Shad.