Jammed cargo door makes passengers walk

Posted in Air Travel, Air Travel News by Hank on the June 30th, 2009

Several travellers refused to fly on a Thomas Cook plane from Mallorca to Newcastle after being asked to move to seats at the rear to help balance the plane.

A cargo door on the plane was stuck, meaning luggage could only be loaded into the front of the plane. Thomas Cook said that balancing the plane was a routine procedure on all airlines, and there was no safety risk. The pilot himself came out of the cockpit to speak to the passengers, but 71 people weren’t convinced and left the plane. Many of them spent the night at the airport and caught a different flight the next day.

No mention was made of possible repercussions for the timid travellers, such as additional charges for the subsequent flight or resulting overstays at Newcastle Airport car parks, but surely some passengers were contacting Thomas Cook when they arrived home to express their displeasure.

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said, “It is standard for all airlines to ensure cargo and passengers are evenly distributed on an aircraft…this is a routine industry procedure and poses no safety issue. We are disappointed that, despite reassurances from the captain and crew, a number of passenger decided not to travel.”

Travelpad wonders, would you move seats to balance a plane if asked, or would you walk too? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

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