Is it the Taser or the mindset? part 2
This post is really more about the brutality of flying and airports in general, but the Taser came to mind after reading the following story about a gaggle of passengers that demanded to be let off an Airbus 340 after noticing that 5 feet of the right wingtip was missing. Fortunately for the unruly passengers, there were no Tasers (see “Is it the Taser or the mindset?“, October 24-07 and “Taser gun sets man aflame“, June 23-07) handy to bring them under submission:
“Passengers revolt after being told to fly on jet with its wing tip missing
By DANIEL BOFFEY
An airline crew faced a rebellion when they told passengers they were going to fly on a jet that had lost its wing tip in a runway crash.
The SriLankan Airlines customers had been on the Airbus A340 a day earlier when it sliced through a wing of a stationary British Airways 747 at Heathrow, delaying departure by 24 hours.
So they were amazed to be boarding the same plane next day for the ten-hour flight to Colombo.
When cabin crew then admitted there was still a 5ft wing tip missing, there was “a minor revolt” as seven passengers demanded to be let off the aircraft.
A further two-hour delay followed as their baggage was removed before the aircraft could take off.
Club-class passenger Ian McKie, 54, from Loughton, Essex, said: “We were put up in hotels the night of the crash and next morning we were told we would be on a different plane that day.
“We only realised that we were actually going on the same aircraft when we got to the Club lounge and saw the plane but without its wing tip.”
The former policeman, who was jetting off for a two-week holiday with his partner Gill Stone, 52, added: “On board, the cabin crew admitted that it was the same one as last time and that the tip had been ripped off.
“They assured us it didn’t matter but a number of the passengers insisted that they would rather get on the next flight.”
The collision happened shortly after 10pm two weeks ago when the BA011 flight to Singapore was waiting on a runway, followed by the SriLankan Airbus.
The SriLankan aircraft wing ripped through the BA flight’s wing, tearing off a huge chunk and resulting in the BA jumbo being grounded.
SriLankan Airlines insisted there was no danger in flying without a wing tip.
It added: “They are purely for aerodynamics and to keep fuel costs to a minimum. There is no impact on safety at all. Safety is our absolute priority.”