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Sunday, December 21, 2014         

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JetBlue plane stranded on tarmac for 7 hours

By Candice Choi

AP Business Writer

POSTED:



NEW YORK >> Passengers on a JetBlue plane were stranded on the tarmac in Connecticut for more than seven hours Saturday.

A passenger on a plane diverted to Bradley International Airport says the plane ran out of snacks and bottled water for the last few hours of the ordeal.

"The toilets were backed up. When you flushed, nothing would happen," said Andrew Carter, a reporter for the Florida Sun Sentinel, who was traveling to cover the Miami Dolphins game against the New York Giants. His plane took off from Fort Lauderdale for Newark International Airport at around 9 a.m. After being diverted to Hartford, the plane sat on the tarmac between around 1:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., he said.

A representative for Bradley International was not available to comment on other delays at the airport.

A JetBlue spokeswoman, Victoria Lucia, confirmed in an emailed statement that six of its planes, carrying a total of about 700 passengers, were diverted to Hartford as a result of a "confluence of events" including infrastructure issues at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark International Airport.

She noted that a total of 17 other flights were also diverted to the airport.

Lucia said that intermittent power outages at the airport made refueling and deplaning difficult. She declined to specify how long planes sat on the tarmac, but said passengers would be reimbursed.

Kate Hani, executive editor of consumer advocacy site FlyersRights.org, said she got calls from passengers and family members on at least three stranded flights at Bradley International that were stranded on the tarmac for up to 10 hours.

JetBlue of New York also made headlines in 2007 when snow and ice storms stranded its planes for nearly 11 hours at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

A regulation that went into effect last year fines airlines for holding domestic flights on the tarmac for more than three hours. This year, the rule was extended to apply to international flights that are held on the tarmac for more than four hours.

Passengers do not get a cut of the fines, however.






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