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Stuck on a Plane for 3.5 Hours

I recognize issues with the weather and appreciate that the airlines wish to keep people safe. My 14 year old daughter is on her first trip with her class to Washington D.C. She’s been sending photos to me of the White House, the Washington Monument, the Constitution and other sites since she arrived on Sunday night.

We paid quite a bit of money for the trip and her school has done this trip for over 20 years. I’m not sure they’ve ever ended a trip like this, though. Katie and the rest of the students have been stuck in a plane on the tarmac for 3 and a half hours. Katie called me and asked if she could spend the last of her money this afternoon on souvenirs… I told her to go ahead. Now she can’t even buy some food and she’s hungry.

The teachers are cranky, the students are bored to tears, and the airlines can’t tell me when the flight is going to leave. Right now, it won’t be before midnight when the flight gets here. I tried calling the airlines, got a message. I even tried calling the local news and they really didn’t care.

US Airways, I trusted you to take care of my daughter and you’ve betrayed that trust. I don’t mind that you’re trying to keep her safe, but don’t lock up a bunch of kids on a plane for 3.5 hours.

The airlines really need to be kept to a limit, perhaps 45 minutes to an hour, before they need to bring folks back to the gate. If there’s another plane at the gate, then move it. Being stuck more than that is ridiculous. I’m trying not to let it ruin her trip but I really feel bad for her.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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    1. I’d love to see high speed rail! A friend of mine takes the train to Chicago instead of driving or flying and he loves it. I did check and it doesn’t appear that they have Internet access, though. Perhaps a Sprint USB might work.

      I honestly think the biggest problem with flying now is that it’s too affordable. There’s so much competition that the prices have to stay low – and it impacts everything downstream. I’d rather spend $500 or more on a round-trip and be treated well.

  1. The nightmare of air travel was a big part of my life for over 20 years. you brought back memories, I use to drive back East from Chicago to avoid air travel but now it is cheaperto fly. Thank God your young one survived but I bet it was harder on you!

    1. Thanks JD!

      It was a tough one, but you’re right. In the back of my head I just kept telling myself that they were holding them for a reason. I wish they just held them in the terminal, though.


  2. A plane ride?!? Hell, when we took our trip from Atlanta, it was an overnight train trip. Your daughter should be thankful.

    AND I had to walk to school 10 miles barefoot in the snow. Uphill. Both ways! ‘-)

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