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Trapped In A Jet For 7 Hours, 'We Were All Slowly Losing It'

<p>The snowy scene Sunday in Glastonbury, Conn.</p>
Jessica Hill

The snowy scene Sunday in Glastonbury, Conn.

The major problems after the weekend's surprising snowstorm in the Northeast relate to a couple of million customers who are without power.

But one of the other stories we can relate to is about the passengers who were stranded on the ground Saturday in jets that landed at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn.

Some in at least four jets weren't able to get out of the planes for more than seven hours.

One passenger, was Sun Sentinel sports reporter Andrew Carter, who writes that as the hours dragged on, he and the other passengers aboard the JetBlue plane "were all slowly losing it."

"Passengers began to threaten to call 911," he reports. " 'JetBlue is holding us hostage!' one woman yelled. 'Call 911!' said another. Near the front, a man nearby became annoyed and used profanity while he loudly asked a boy's father to make him stop playing with a plastic bottle. The two men exchanged words and glares."

The toilets, as you can imagine, had long since stopped working.

It wasn't until a passenger required medical assistance that the jet was opened and everyone was finally allowed off. And then, the passengers had to sleep at the airport.

Carter, who was headed to New Jersey to cover the NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, talked about his experience on video.

JetBlue says on its blog that:

"Getting all the flights deplaned at the same time in a small airport is not unlike trying to get an elephant into a smart car; it's not an easy fit. As if things weren't challenging enough, the airport experienced intermittent power outages, which made refueling and jetbridge deplaning difficult (not to mention the roads there were bad, which put a wrench in getting buses to the airport to alternatively get everyone where they needed to go). Temporary loss of de-icing capability added yet another challenge to being able to get planes out in Hartford. ...

"We apologize to those impacted by this confluence of events, as it remains our responsibly to not simply provide safe and secure travel, but a comfortable experience as well."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.