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Old 08-12-2008, 06:39 AM
 
146 posts, read 580,119 times
Reputation: 106

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I was so happy to arrive in Portland after a long flight from Asia. I was so ready to get out of the plane. I had been suffering from jet lag so bad and had a real closed in feeling in the very crowded plane.

Our flight arrived at the gate and nearly everyone stood up and got their carry on bags. Then we stood there and stood there and stood there!!! Who ever was responsible for opening the plane's door must of been sleeping- or on strike because we just kept standing there. There was no word from the flight attendants or the flight crew. I was at the aisle and started to panic with all these people standing around me. I felt closed in and was so tired. I kept assuming the worst and finally determined there must be some type of job action or terror attack. I could not see the door from where I was sitting.

Finally, after 45 minutes there was movement and 15 minutes later I was finally off the plane. No explaination or apology. Is this common?
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:00 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
Reputation: 13245
I've had delays like that at departure time, and every now and then there has been a similar delay when there was not an available gate. But usually there is some sort of explanation on the PA system.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:30 PM
 
812 posts, read 3,582,999 times
Reputation: 370
Were you at the gate? When you said movement, did you mean the plane itself or movement in the line? If you meant the aircraft itself moving, it looks like a gate wasn't available. You said that the flight was from Asia, and were therefore likely in a large enough aircraft that any old gate won't work, let alone the requirement of the gate having customs connections. If it was at the gate but wasn't getting the door open, know that before the pax go to customs, the plane itself needs to clear customs, and it could have gone a little over time/taken a while for the agents to get to. Until the go ahead from customs, the plane cannot be touched, and needs to stay shut and isolated. Similar to stories you might have heard about not being able to get refreshments onboard when a flight makes a diversion on an intercontinental fight.

Customs delays of one sort or another are pretty common, weather it's what you said, or getting through the line itself. Part of what makes it difficult is that the long haul flights (most of all types of flights for that matter) tend to arrive in banks, so it's a feast or famine situation oftentimes.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:51 PM
 
12,273 posts, read 18,397,848 times
Reputation: 19098
Yeah pretty common, particularly at busier airports, although 45 minutes is extreme and suprised the flight crew didn't announce anything.

It's usually a planning problem, logistical staffing problem by the airlines and/or airport. No gate available to park into (but in your case it sounds like they were parked already), lack of ground crew to pull up the exitway, lack of airline staff to prep the inbound plane, maybe the flight was early to arrive, in at least one case we were stuck on the plane because they couldn't get the door open.

Expect this to be even more common as airlines continue to cut staff.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,592,236 times
Reputation: 5769
unfortunately this is not uncommon. I had a similar experience once, but it was for about 30 mins or so because there was nobody to operate the jetway. Yes, there was no operator that was available, can you believe that? ridiculous
although the pilot did announce that we were waiting for an operator
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 17,359,111 times
Reputation: 4701
I just stay seated and wait till the crowd thins.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,350,483 times
Reputation: 7364
Being in a plane is uncomfortable enough, but to have to sit there while it goes nowhere is inexcusable. Those folks who were kept hostage on planes for up to 10 hours (never left the gate) and weren't allowed off...I don't know how they did that! I have a feeling I'd start a ruckus and get arrested--that's one way to get the hell off of that closed-in airless tube!
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 17,359,111 times
Reputation: 4701
you got that right. 45 minutes is one thing.....over an hour or 2 and I'll take my chances getting arrested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
Being in a plane is uncomfortable enough, but to have to sit there while it goes nowhere is inexcusable. Those folks who were kept hostage on planes for up to 10 hours (never left the gate) and weren't allowed off...I don't know how they did that! I have a feeling I'd start a ruckus and get arrested--that's one way to get the hell off of that closed-in airless tube!
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