47 Trapped on 9-Hour 'Nightmare' Flight

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2009 10:24 AM CDT
Continental Airlines passengers wait in line to check bags July 21, 2009 at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – If 9 hours on a grounded puddle-jumper with screaming babies and the scent of overly busy toilets wafting through cramped aisles sounds like your idea of a good time, then Continental Airlines had your ticket to paradise. When storms forced a Minneapolis-bound flight to divert to Rochester, Minn., on Friday, a comedy of errors forced the plane to sit on the tarmac overnight, passengers locked in, the Star-Tribune reports.

Here's what went wrong:

  • The crew maxed out its hours, and another crew had to be brought in.
  • A chartered bus didn't come through.
  • The kicker? Airport personnel couldn't let passengers in because they would have had to go through security again—and security workers had gone home.