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LA to NY passengers sit on tarmac over 4 hours

March 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Virgin America Airlines is apologizing to passengers on board a Los Angeles to New York flight and some were stuck in the plane for more than four hours when it was grounded by bad weather.The flight took off from Los Angeles on schedule but turbulence started once in the air and the flight had to be diverted north of New York City. Passengers were stranded on the tarmac for hours.

During the ordeal they say they were given water, potato chips and plenty of attitude from the flight crew.

"Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba was among the passengers aboard Virgin America's delayed Flight 404.

The flight left LAX Saturday morning on route to JFK but fierce winds forced it to land at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, about 90 miles north of New York.

While on the tarmac crew members offered passengers either four or five Pringles or a tiny cup of almonds.

According to one passenger, the flight crew ended up snapping at passengers when they tried to get off the plane.

California Senator Barbara Boxer calls the flight delay "outrageous" and she says it's another reason why the airline passenger bill of rights needs to be passed.

"Provide people with what they need no more than a three-hour wait on the tarmac, if the pilot says it's too dangerous to let you off that's fine we give him the discretion," Boxer said. "But we need a passenger bill of rights, I was sick when I heard what happened on that plane."

It wasn't until 10:15 Saturday night when the hungry, thirsty and exhausted passengers were let off the plane.

They finally arrived in New York by bus at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Virgin America CEO David Cush sent a letter to each passenger apologizing and promising to refund their fares.

According to Virgin America, all passengers on the flight were initially given the chance to leave when the plane first landed in Newburgh but only about 20 did so.


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