This week in airline frustration

From the Department of Here’s Something You Don’t See Every Day: A Russian Polish jetliner (why do people take Russian jetliners?) on a flight from Newark landed in Warsaw without landing gear today.

A nice, straight rollout. Everybody survived and, best of all, they didn’t have to spend seven hours while airport officials tried to figure out how to get people off the plane.

That’s Warsaw 1 Hartford 0.

On that story today, Rob Maruster, Jet Blue’s chief operating officer, apologized to more than 100 passengers who were left on the plane in Hartford without food, water or functioning bathrooms during the weekend blizzard.

“Safety was our number one concern,” Maruster said.

But a piece in the Boston Herald today from a reporter who was on the flight would appear to question that.


Near the front, a man nearby became annoyed and used profanity while he loudly asked a boy’s father to make him stop playing with a plastic bottle. The two men exchanged words and glares.

After a while the flight attendants were alerted that a disabled man near the front needed medical attention. “He needs help!” passengers screamed.

  • Nikki

    Wow. I would love to hear how the “no landing gear” voters made their decision. At least 7 hrs on the ground isn’t dangerous, right?

  • Jim Shapiro

    I’ve got a buddy who was afp bureau chief in Moscow. He would travel extra days to AVOID taking a Russian flight.

  • Ed

    There is a level of risk in both scenarios, however the “danger” factor comes from the unexpected risks.

    Having a planned landing with the gear up has some risks, but they are pretty clearly known.

    On the other hand, group confinement under duress, there are many things that can go wrong that cannot be planned for.

  • Tyler

    I’d rather deal with a mechanical problem than a human problem. Put me on the broken plane. Besides, if I survive, I might get to be in the made-for-TV movie!

  • kennedy

    People would rather be in a crash landing than be confined in a small space with other people?

    How anti-social we have become.

  • Heather

    I don’t think it’s about being anti-social, kennedy. It’s about not wanting to be packed into a small, uncomfortable space with a large group of strangers and no food, water, or functioning toilet.

    Also? Duration, duration, duration! The landing gear situation would probably be a lot more actuely stressful, but it would be resolved in much less than seven hours.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzyJLtJjfqE V

    Good thing no one tried to replicate the Nissan commercial (which I linked to in the URL field) and use a pickup truck to help a jetliner with a landing gear problem.

    In looking around to confirm the automaker, it looks like airliners.net and the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters forums are trying to prove how impossible this scenario is.