HOUSTON, TX - Flight 686 from Houston to Orlando on April 26, 2010 was delayed when a maintenance worker spotted what looked like a leak in the left wing of a Continental Airlines (CAL) aircraft. Because the conscientious maintenance worker chose to report what he had observed, a serious fuel leak was discovered, a plane full of passengers was emptied, and a potential midair disaster was avoided.
I am one of the two hundred-something passengers who had the opinion that it was probably better to deal with fuel leaks and bad o-rings on the ground rather than in midair. The general sentiment as we were scurried off the plane where we had been sitting and waiting for quite some time was not a feeling of annoyance but rather one of gratitude.
Continental Airlines didn't kill anybody yesterday. Any day an airline company can make that claim, whether they turned a profit or not, is a successful day in the airline industry, right?
When the 10:30 a.m. flight finally arrived in Orlando at 10:30 p.m., even though we were still grateful that Continental Airlines hadn't killed any of us earlier that morning, we were not at all grateful for the way Continental Airlines had killed the rest of our day.
For ten and a half hours we were held hostage... read more >>