Poor United Airlines just can't seem to catch a break. It's already garnered the title of "worst food and in-flight entertainment in the industy," faced the wrath of moms everywhere by embarrassing a breast-feeding mother, and forced a family to sit in someone else's vomit. Now it's facing a new PR nightmare .
Republic Airlines, the operator of United Express 4934, is being questioned about why it kept one of its planes on the tarmac for six hours this past week with dwindling food and water, "foul" smells, and rising tempers, when there appeared to be an easy alternative.
The flight from Kansas to Denver was diverted to Colorado Springs due to inclement weather.
In keeping with federal aviation rules, passengers were offered the opportunity to deplane after three hours on the tarmac. The catch? They would have to forfeit any connecting flights and find their own way to their final destination. Most chose to stay onboard, but the flight was canceled anyway after an additional three-hour wait, and the passengers ended up being bused from Colorado Springs to Denver.
As reported by NBC Affiliate KOAA, staff at the Colorado Springs Airport were left scratching their heads as to why Republic did not dock at the gate sooner to allow the restless passengers to deplane. The cost to do so? A meager $73.
Responding to the Daily Mail's request for comment, Republic claimed it was sticking to standard operating procedure.
"This flight, as well as others, was only following safety regulations related to lightning and severe storms," the spokesman said. "The dock fee was never part of this incident."
While not as egregious as kicking someone off their flight for having cancer, it's appears to be yet another case in a long line of airlines behaving badly.