Seattle Tacoma International Airport was fogged in earlier this week causing huge delays in outgoing and incoming flights. The worst story of yet in the aftermath is that of Aeromexico Flight AM 670. The Seattle bound flight left Mexico City with no reported abnormalities, however, later in the flight it was determined that the plane would be unable to land in the fog at Sea-Tac and was detoured to Portland International Airport.
King5.com reports, “After the plane had landed, an airport official boarded the plane and told the passengers they could not get off the plane because they didn’t have enough customs agents at the airport to process the flight.”
The plane sat on the tarmac for 4 hours in Portland, reported a passenger. A couple passengers requiring medical leave were allowed to leave the plane, however, several passengers became very angry and the police were brought on the plane and told everyone that they had two choices, to stay on the plane or to be arrested.
The story does not end there. The plane was then returned to Mexico City, without stocking any food! The only food the passengers received was from the Portland Fire Department who reportedly brought them each one McDonald’s hamburger.
After arriving back in Mexico City, the passengers were forced to wait for the next flight and were not offered any food vouchers or hotel stays.
Please take the time to imagine this situation. There were children and infants on this flight. King5.com video footage of passengers being interviewed states that diapers and formula were brought on board in Portland. Can you imagine being trapped on an airplane for 16 hours, starved, with children and scared?
While the bill does not solve all the problems encountered by Flight 670, it does at least require (1) a provision of food and water – where the air carrier must provide adequate food, portable water, and restroom facilities, (2) a right to deplane (if grounded with doors closed for more than 3 hours).