Passengers Revolt Against Revolting Airline Treatment

The paying customers are getting fed up with being held prisoner on commercial jets that board passengers and then remain parked on the ground for hours. On at least one occasion, a mass protest ensued. I’m with Radley Balko in hoping this becomes a trend.

Now, if only we can organize against heavyhanded airport security.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ugh says:

    Nothing pisses me off more than the people at TSA, they are power-mad, turf-defending maroons. In fact, it seems to me that every person involved in law enforcement these days seems to think they’re the only thing standing between the U.S. and another 9/11.

  2. Triumph says:

    This thought came to me the last time I was marooned on a plane (for 5 hours on the tarmac):

    Using your cellphone, call the local police and say you are being held against your will on an airplane.

    It seems to me that the three-to-four hour wait on a tarmac and not bringing the plane back to the gate constitutes a form of kidnapping.

    I didn’t have the cojones to call 911–but it seems reasonable.

  3. Ugh says:

    I actually had a similar thought Triumph when reading the NYTimes piece James links to, that you’re being subject to false imprisonment (tho I’m guessing the rules these days pretty much allows airline pilots to do anything, up to and including summarily executing unrule passengers).

  4. While flying in 1989, I experienced delays due to a typhoon, 3.5 hours on a runway in Dallas due to a thunderstorm and being stranded in Seoul while bound for Manila because of a coup attempt against Corazon Aquino.

    When we took off in Dallas, passengers cheered. As to the coup, the airline put us up in a five star hotel for 3 days. Sounds good, except the Lotte kept wanting to feed us salisbury steak for lunch dinner. The airline was paying for our food, but the hotel was trying to be the one setting the menu. It took persistence, but one got the meals you wanted.

    I flew 400,000 flight miles between summer 1996 and Jan 2002. With few mishaps. In a few months, I may be back flying alot again. With the TSA around, I don’t look forward to it.


  5. fredw says:

    You know, holding the passengers prisoner is at the full discretion of the pilot. If a few pilots are sued for the 6 hour detentions, it will become a lot less frequent.

  6. Steven Donegal says:

    If I were running for President, a prominent part of my campaign platform would be a promise to reform TSA. The fact that none of them have done so shows a definite lack of understanding of the real problems in the country.