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Passengers Stranded on Airplane for 7 Hours After De-Icing Trucks Run Out of Fuel

On January 15, an American Airlines flight from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to Nashville International Airport (BNA) was stuck on the ramp for over eight hours. American Airlines flight 4275 (AA 4275) departed DCA at 10:52 a.m. and landed shortly before 2:00 p.m. local time. However, passengers onboard could not leave the plane until approximately 10:00 p.m. local time. ( More...

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godutch 46
The problem is that THEY DON'T CARE the passengers were on the plane for 8 hours...till professing apologies afterwards - that's easy. A chaotic situation for sure, but 8 hours is way past unacceptable. I don't believe that airstairs could not be found after the 1st one or two hours.
nf45 16
Another reason to keep them old airstairs around perhaps unless they’d need de-icing as well or are they a convenient scapegoat for addressing or not addressing what really ails?
This won’t be the first story regarding bad weather nor the last .

We have not heard from the FAA investigators issuing a statement.
The story is incomplete. It leaves us wondering what is behind the scenes.

Eventually 7 hours is enough flight time to reach another destination overseas.

Operations , the tower and ramp management had a role in this decision making as well.

To be stuck on an airplane for 7 hours is not acceptable believe me even the Crew members do not want to be facing this unnecessary delay and situation.

Other passengers waiting for another destination would be affected as well.

It’s basically telling us fight AA4275 was on the Ramp for 7 hours “ apparently due to a dueling truck that run out of gas ?” Others say : the valves froze ?

I personally think it’s the decision making that has frozen .

The passengers should have been taken off that Aircraft within one hour or as soon as possible.

Hopefully passengers would be reasonably and fairly compensated.
Michael Eadie 9
There needs to be a clear and published maximum time that customers can be held without overt progress to takeoff. I hope some passengers wrote their national political representatives.
Diallo Creal 7
There are. Btw this flight had already taken off, flown its route and landed at the destination.
Michael Dealey 6
But this particular flight had already *landed* and did not need to be de-iced. Why were passengers not allowed to disembark? All the gates were full?
Doug Parker 5
Why is this limitation *not* written into the Rules of Carriage?

…er, no, I think I got it now. *Because it's NOT written into the Rules of Carriage* is the reason they're able to get away with it and not have to pay for it. Ahh, now I see.
LMAO. Wrote their national political representatives. Like they're gonna get off their butts and do something? Aside from calling them before a committee for photo ops? What a strange new thing that would be.
Richard Haas 1
National representatives care they just can't do anything about it.

Just months after Delta cut a third of its Memphis departures in June, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today made the following statement after learning that the airline was continuing its string of broken promises by ending Memphis’ status as a base for flight attendants, cutting as many as 126 cargo and ticketing jobs in the city, and further reducing the number of their departing Memphis International Airport flights from 64 to 40.

“Delta has once again let Memphis down with their decision to eliminate jobs as well as even more flights from our city,” said Congressman Cohen. “Since they have basically left the Delta they should change the name of the airline to FIDA (Formerly Interested in the Delta Airlines) or Forked Tongue Air or Wings over Atlanta.”
Ben Seidman 8
I agree that the article is incomplete and/or misleading making it challenging to figure out what happened, but it clearly states a long line of aircraft waiting for deicing resulting in a challenge to get the subject aircraft to a gate for deplaning. If there is a long delay for deicing, the boarding of aircraft to join that line should stop. Then, if no gates were available for the arriving aircraft, an empty aircraft should have been pushed back to make a gate available.
avionik99 7
So nowhere could they have pushed back an empty jet to allow this one to debark?
carste10 6
At first glance the headlines blame the out-of-fuel de-icing equipment. But it appears that the reason they ran out of fuel was lack of personnel and the unbelievably lengthy delay. Only one towbar available??? They need better management.
avionik99 4
Passengers then should be compensated by Airport management.
Bill Overdue 6
Incredible BS! And airlines wonder why "passengers" get upset sometimes? Its because they remember what happened the last they boarded a plane! The entire airline industry doesnt gives a damn!
avionik99 3
This was all on the airport. Airlines had nothing to do with this mess. Although I do wonder why they could not have pushed back an empty jet to allow this one to debark?
James Simms 1
I’m going to guess maybe the ramp area itself was icy w/snow on it, & no way for the tugs to gain traction
"The valve to refill the de-icing truck reportedly froze." Followed by an explanation of what de-icing accomplishes. Were the trucks LNG fueled? That would explain filling the truck via a valve rather than a cap (diesel, gasoline). If this was the issue, the culprit was poor engineering. LNG highway vehicles frequently exhibit frost on and around the fuel tank (easily visible). That this issue was not addressed in the design of .trucks which work almost exclusively in icing conditions is sad. I sincerely hope that the same design process was not involved when building snowplows for the highway department.
lynx318 3
There would be a valve on the bowser, used to fill the truck, like in any fuel station bowser.
James Simms 2
The new snowplows are electric driven, w/ 1/2 or 1/4 the normal battery life in cold weather.
Richard Loven 5
I hope the guys that are in charge of keeping the trucks topped off aren’t in charge of keeping the Airplanes’ full of fuel.
nf45 9
What on earth happened to all those ‘draconian’ rules made about not allowing such things to happen?!
1mooneymite 4
Mother Nature rarely reads draconian rules written by men.
The draconian rules were written FOR men, not for Mother Nature. Men who can and should take certain steps when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate.
Alan Glover -2
Written by men making things more difficult and even in some situations impossible and allowing the whingers in our midst ruin it for everyone else.

Don't patronize a bad product. In a free market system, there are always alternatives....Also, Mother Nature is ultimately in charge. Considering the challenges, the airlines do a pretty good job.
James Simms 1
To quote from the Parkay Margarine commercial, ‘It’s Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature’
carste10 5
They evidently got mixed up with the border policies.
Mike InPA -4
A stupid comment cluttering up an otherwise serious discussion. And, no, you are not funny, at all.
Tom McCracken 9
After 3 hours, all tickets half price; after 6 hours, free ride and full refund. Hit Sr. management in their most important organ-their wallet.
Why should a plane that landed at 2 pm be delayed from disembarking for 8 hours because a de-icing truck RAN OUT OF FUEL? Since when do landing planes need to be de-iced? I haven't flown in a minute but I thought planes are de-iced before DEPARTURE. Sounds like someone is making excuses.
Chris Muncy 12
Ad-Free Link:

Friends don't let friends click on links to
godutch 33
Both articles mention 'de-icing trucks running out of fuel' allowing the casual reader to think this particular aircraft needed de-icing. No! Especially not for ARRIVING AIRCRAFT. I think they meant to report that the de-icing problems contributed to congestion, aircraft remaining at gates unable to take off (leaving no gates open for arriving flights), and then the closure of the airport for 2 hours caused the passengers on THIS aircraft not able to be deplaned. Seven to eight hours stuck on an aircraft is totally unacceptable...ESPECIALLY at a large airport like BNA. Failure by the airline and the airport management.
Michael Dealey 2
Yes, it wasn't clearly explained and I had to assume the same as you. But as written, it leaves you wondering.
Chris Muncy 6
On a side note: It appears Dan Mena only posts sqwawks pertaining to
21voyageur 8
Good catch. Check LinkedIn. He is the AeroExplorer President. With AreoExplorer being for profit, something does not smell right in this situation.
Chris Muncy 4
Oh SHit! I had no idea this was the case. I spotted someone else that also posts nothing but aeroexplorer links. I'll have to do some digging on them as well.
lynx318 3
Try using an ad blocker, dude, I'm using Ublock origin with good success.
Dan Mena 2
The squawks I promote — like everyone else on this platform — are solely for the purpose of promoting discussion and sharing news about the aviation industry. All I ask (from you specifically, Chris) is for a semblance of maturity. If you don't like a link, just skip over it. You don't have to comment on every single one of my squawks a link to another website simply because you don't like what I'm sharing.
rob strong 4
Good thing it wasn't a Spirit flight.
godutch 9
...Or blamed on a 'Boeing' aircraft... LOL
Bill Overdue 0
...or blamed on Trump
carste10 4
avionik99 3
Confusing as this tracking site says something far different for that flight on that day. Somebody is lying??
Either somebody is lying, or somebody didn't make it through the first two sentences of the article. Considering the fact that nobody involved would have any motivation to lie about something so stupid, my money is on the latter.
avionik99 2
HaHa you are correct. My link shows the times in PST not EST for some reason??
That's not it. You have two more guesses.
lynx318 2
Jack Frost, "Xmas is over, now I'm bored. I know, I'll go mess with an airport for fun."
Alan Glover 2
They could not drop passengers outside. Too cold and dangerous. The passengers were safe aboard the aircraft and that is job 1 so they did show they care about their customers.
They'll be compensated in any event.
If there is a reason you must arrive somewhere without fail, do not travel on the day of that reason.
Weather is in the vernacular an act of God and so criticizing Mother Nature seems a fruitless endeavor.
Michael Dealey 3
Sorry, the decision to brave the cold should be the prerogative of each individual, not the airline. Large bureaucracies and the Government will almost always make the wrong decision for the most people. Quit defending abusive behavior in the name of "safety". We had enough of that in 2020.
Tim Dyck 1
Try flying in the north where everyone is used to getting on and off the planes outside using steps. The walk to and from the buildings can be quite chilly but on the bright side it’s seldom windy when the temps drop below -40.
lynx318 1
I guess the departures were held up at the runway holding point for de-icing and backed up the whole line to the gates. So arrivals had nowhere to go. Gridlock.
It’s a very stressful situation, the crew pack their patience and wish for an on time departure.

Honestly, whenever possible and when time permits, one should try to avoid certain Airports during snow storms.

De- icing an aircraft wing (s) is very important for weight and balance, for the effectiveness to clear frost off the wings to have a safe and effective lift off .

The FAA requires that Arline’s and Airports to de-ice or apply anti- icing solution in icy conditions.

De-icing is managed by Airlines operations.

There is a 22 minutes time frame effectiveness window before takeoff.

De-icing can happen before at the gate after push back .

Other factors that affect take offs , Are gate holds , ground stops or a cancellation from the towel .

However there is no excuse whatsoever to have our passengers pay for our changing decision making.

7 hours trapped inside an Aircraft is not desirable.

At times passengers are better off with an airline cancellation.
godutch 3
This was the ARRIVAL airport Yassine!!! They were not allowed to deplane.
Joseph Edwards -2
So bogus. I have family in the D.C. area and talk with them every day. The weather has been beautiful for the past week, reaching up to 80 degrees one day. Somewhere, there's a cover-up. And there was not one passenger lost their mind. Yeah right!
No family in Nashville?


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