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Bad press for National Airlines

chperplt

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,60226,00.html


A National Airlines passenger fainted and was taken to the hospital Monday morning following a nightmarish 16-hour ordeal in which she and more than 100 others aboard a New York-bound flight were diverted to Chicago and kept in an airport waiting area with little more to console them than a bag of chips and a soda.


Natalie York, 43, was resting comfortably at home but still shaken up after undergoing tests at a local hospital following her "horrific" experience aboard Flight 853, which left Las Vegas at about 4:15 EDT Sunday afternoon and didn’t arrive at JFK until 7:43 Monday morning. The non-stop flight should have lasted five hours.

York lost consciousness as the jet neared New York and was revived on board with the help of passenger Jaime Hazan, a one-time emergency medical technician.

Hazan and several passengers aboard the plane, among them a Foxnews.com editor, said they were not surprised someone had become ill aboard the flight, given what they called National’s intolerable handling of the situation during the interminable hours passengers spent in Chicago.

"It was a nightmare from hell," said passenger Katherine Hay. "They were unbelievably unprofessional, from the flight attendants to the alleged people in charge. I did not feel I was in competent hands. It was almost comical."

The problems began about 7 p.m. on Sunday, when the flight turned back over Lake Michigan and landed without incident at Chicago’s O’Hare airport because of a faulty engine indicator.

That's when the real trouble started.

Over the next nine hours -- from approximately 8:50 p.m. ET to 6:06 a.m. Monday, when a second plane took off for New York -- exhausted and angry passengers were forced to endure a seemingly endless series of delays, missteps and missed communications.

Among the problems:

• Passengers had to wait in their seats for more than four hours while the plane sat parked outside various terminals.

• They were repeatedly -- and sometimes dismissively -- told the airline would refuse any requests for overnight hotel accommodations.

• They were given only three boxes of chips and several cases of soda for sustenance.

• They wandered helplessly around the area and talked among themselves while the airline’s agent in charge left the scene to his junior staffers -- only to be summoned back by two anxious Chicago police officers.

"It was just disgusting," said Bonnie Keslinger, a passenger aboard the flight and a friend of the woman who became ill. They really had a very, very weak crew there. They were not at all able to handle this."

The situation could have been much worse, according to Hazan, who said the emergency medical equipment aboard the second flight was both outdated and substandard. He also credited the action of pilot Capt. Steve V. Gunter, who had to be awakened out of a sound sleep in his Chicago hotel room to fly the second plane to New York, as one of the few National staffers who seemed to help.

"We were lucky. I was shocked to see how poorly the plane was equipped," said York’s husband, Lance. "Someone could have died."

Dik Shimizu, director of corporate communications for National Airlines, told Fox News that Flight 853 was properly diverted to Chicago after pilots identified an engine indicator light problem. He conceded that there were long delays in getting the problem identified and serviced in Chicago, in part because the plane had to be attended by crews from another airline, Northwest, that partners with National.

"The Northwest people were not OK with signing off on the aircraft … so it was a no go," Shimizu said, relaying information that was never passed on to the passengers.

"This was probably not handled as well as it could have been," he said. "This is what we call a rolling delay … from our perspective and from the passengers’ perspective, it’s very frustrating."

Shimizu said National would review each of the passengers’ complaints and charges, as well as the actions taken by airline management and staff.

That was little consolation to many passengers.

"I’ll never fly that airline again," said York. "You never saw such rudeness. There was absolutely no consideration for the passengers -- no consideration whatsoever."
 

CA1900

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chperplt said:

... a nightmarish 16-hour ordeal in which she and more than 100 others aboard a New York-bound flight were diverted to Chicago and kept in an airport waiting area with little more to console them than a bag of chips and a soda.
Sounds like just a typical workday for us commuter pilots. :D

"We were lucky. I was shocked to see how poorly the plane was equipped," said York’s husband, Lance.
And again.... <grin>
 

rumpletumbler

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Let's see.........

50 pizza's at 10 bucks each.

20 freak meals for folks that like to eat roots at 50 bucks each.

10 flats of Deer Park water 36 bottles each flat at 6 bucks each.

20 cases of soft drinks at 8 bucks each. That outta hold em.

a free ticket to anywhere they fly in the US in the cattle car, say 40,000.

500
1000
360
160
40,000

$42,020 total cost and no media circus, no one eating their own dung so they can get sick and sue the airline. A small price to pay for what the eventual settlement will be with probably just this one individual. Of course there will be others.

RT
 

Timebuilder

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Another excellent example of the importance of customer service.

In a low fare environment, this will figure heavily in who survives, and who does not.
 

jetexas

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That article sounds like an average day of work at the regionals.
 
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