Virgin-gate continues! Reportedly the pilot on the Virgin Atlantic flight, that ended with passengers baking inside of the aircraft on the tarmac for four hours, asked to get passengers off the plane once they landed in Connecticut. The airline says he was threatened with arrest by customs officials, but customs denies the allegation.
Passengers were kept on the plane because there was only one customs official at Bradley international Airport on Tuesday night, and the captain was told the passengers needed to stay put until more immigration officials arrived—which took hours. Passengers are hoping that the U.S. Transportation Department officials listen to audio recordings between pilots and customs officials to clarify what happened.
Founder of Flyersrights.org, Kate Hanni, says the Transportation Department should be including Customs and Border Patrol and the TSA in regulations related to tarmac strandings, noting, "They appear to be a roadblock. Often airlines tell us customs or TSA refused to allow passengers off planes."
This week's incident is still under investigation; passengers finally arrived at their destination of Newark, NJ yesterday.