Jimmy Brown, a 32-year old Staten Island resident, was one of many trapped for over eight-and-a-half hours on a runway at Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT during an unexpected October snowstorm that had 23 planes make unplanned stops at the airport. While the other passengers at least had the option of using the restroom, Brown was forced to sit and suffer on the plane, which did not have handicap accessible facilities.
The passengers of JetBlue Flight 405 were headed to Newark, NJ when the unexpected storm hit, and they were forced to land in Hartford. The small airport was not equipped for the amount of planes on the tarmacs, and intermittent power outages made refueling and unloading passengers difficult.
Several years ago, Jimmy Brown suffered from a diving accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, and he requires a wheelchair for mobility. While the other 100 plus passengers were surely uncomfortable being forced to sit in a small plane for eight and a half hours, Jimmy Brown and his wife had to deal with more embarrassing issues.
“She saw what her husband went through,” said Brown of his wife. “’He can’t get the circulation he needs. He needs other people to get up and then he gets humiliated on a plane. He’s got to pee in his own seat.’ I mean, this stuff is terrible.”
JetBlue replied to passenger complaints by issuing a statement that “we would have preferred deplaning much sooner than we did, but our flights were six of the 23 reported diversions into Hartford, including international flights. The airport experienced intermittent power outages, which made refueling and jet bridge deplaning difficult.”
JetBlue has done little to make amends for Mr. Brown. The airline said it would refund the fares of the stranded passengers, but two days after the flight Brown had still not received a refund or apology. Instead, JetBlue gave him a $30 voucher for McDonalds.