HARTFORD—The huge snowstorm that covered the East Coast led to a nightmare aboard a JetBlue flight as an estimated 200 passengers were stranded for seven hours Saturday at Bradley International Airport with no food, water, or working bathrooms.
The nightmare began when the flight could not land at Newark International Airport after descending low enough for the passengers to see that the visibility was zero. After circling the airport in New Jersey, the plane eventually flew to Bradley and landed before 2 p.m., passengers said.
“It’s been a long day,’’ said Andrew Carter, a professional football writer for the Sun Sentinel newspaper in Florida who was intending to cover the Miami Dolphins football game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands on Sunday. “There’s been no real explanation as to why we’ve been sitting here for seven hours.’’
Carter travels constantly as the beat writer for the Dolphins, but he had never been in a such a situation as he faced Saturday.
“We ran out of water,’’ he said via cellphone from onboard the plane. “The bathrooms are all clogged up and disgusting. The power would go off every 45 minutes or so for five minutes or so, and that would freak people out. … I’ve heard about these kind of stories.’’
As Flight 504 remained on the ground, some passengers threatened to call the police. Some firefighters came aboard the plane to help a paraplegic who had difficulty with circulation in his legs and needed to get off the plane, passengers said.
After landing, the plane never moved between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. as passengers tried to figure out exactly where they were.
“We’re close to the terminal,’’ Carter said. “We can look out the window and see other planes.’’
The delays were reminiscent of another nightmare aboard a Jet Blue flight where passengers were stranded for 11 hours in a snow and ice storm at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City in February 2007.
Despite the tough conditions, Carter said the passengers had largely kept their cool – although some had been screaming: “Get us off this plane!’’
“People have been pretty well behaved, overall,’’ Carter said. “There have been a few arguments popping up.’’
Another passenger, Todd Bailey, told FOX CT that some passengers were extremely frustrated.“People are on their last edge,’’ Bailey said from onboard the stranded plane. “It’s just crazy. … Everybody is freaking out here. They’re tired of it.’’
At about 9 p.m., there was an announcement on board the plane that some buses would be taking the passengers to the terminal. But Carter had no idea where he would spend the night.