Right There on the Tarmac, the Inmates Revolt – New York Times
ON July 29, Continental Flight 1669, a 737-700 with about 120 passengers aboard, was bound for Newark from Caracas, Venezuela, when bad weather caused the plane to be diverted to Baltimore. It sat there for about five hours with passengers on board as food and water ran low and toilets became filthy.
Since Dec. 29, there have been hundreds of reports of passengers unable to get off parked airplanes for 6, 8 and even 12 hours. Just last weekend, for example, a Customs computer breakdown at Los Angeles International Airport stranded more than 17,000 international passengers on planes, some for more than 10 hours.
But what made the Continental flight somewhat different was that passengers organized and protested by clapping in rhythm and drumming on overhead bins. Finally, the pilot, worried about mayhem, called the police.