Mesaba Air Blamed by DOT for Continental Express Flight 2816 meltdown in Minnesota
Continental Express Flight 2816 smelled like diapers. It had no food and a full toilet. Its 47 passengers had been stranded on a tarmac in southern Minnesota since after midnight.
“They are getting really upset – you know, with the plane,” the captain told her dispatcher just before 3 a.m. on Aug. 8.
Recordings released Friday of conversations among the captain, dispatcher and staff for another airline at the Rochester, Minn., airport expose a breakdown that kept the plane sitting on the tarmac for almost six hours – for no clear reason – and triggered a Department of Transportation investigation.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released the recordings along with conclusions from his department’s investigation exonerating ExpressJet, the regional carrier that operated the flight for Continental Airlines.
Instead, he criticized Mesaba Airlines – which was in charge because it had the only employees left at the airport – for refusing to let the passengers inside the terminal because all security personnel had left for the night.
“There was a complete lack of common sense here,” LaHood added. “It’s no wonder the flying public is so angry and frustrated.”
Wow! And I thought the federal government was terrible at doing things, this Meseba Air crew at the airport takes the cake. They are awful, and the head of the crew that allowed this to happen needs to be let go. How awful for this to have happened.