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Despite Expanded Passenger Bill Of Rights, Hundreds Stuck On Tarmac At Newark Liberty

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Caribbean Airlines passengers boarding bus after being stuck on tarmac (credit: CBS 2)

Caribbean Airlines passengers boarding bus after being stuck on tarmac (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The new Passenger Bill of Rights was of no help to hundreds of people stranded on the tarmac at Newark Liberty Airport for more than six hours.

The Port Authority offered no official comment about the incident.

Three hundred travelers on two Caribbean Airlines flights from Trinidad were diverted to Newark instead of John F. Kennedy Airport, due to fog.

The Passenger Bill of Rights bans long waits on the tarmac for domestic flights but it does not yet apply internationally.

Passengers were upset over waiting on board from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I felt like I was claustrophobic,” 11-year-old Jasmine told CBS 2′s Derricke Dennis.

“They didn’t have any food per se on the plane,” said Nikita Job of Somerset, N.J.

While passengers said they understood severe weather played a role in the delay, they were dumbfounded why it took so long just to get off their planes.

“It’s disgusting. It’s really terrible. I mean we’re human. Nobody should have to go through this,” said Raj Wahid of Queens.

Pilot Paul Beston said Newark Airport does not service Caribbean Airlines — no computers, no staff, no customs paperwork and no gate. Despite new federal rules that feature a passenger Bill of Rights, the measure does not yet apply to international flights.

So following their long wait, passengers were eventually taken home by bus.

“I hope it never happens again,” said Theresa Abraham of Long Island.

Do stories like this make you less willing to fly? How would you have reacted in this situation? Leave a comment below…


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