A JetBlue flight heading to New York was diverted Tuesday to Philadelphia, prompting the airline to bus passengers to their final destination.
The airline, which went on the defensive after stranding passengers in planes at Kennedy International for up to 10 1/2 hours earlier this month, does not operate at Philadelphia International Airport.
Flight 1050 from Pittsburgh to JFK landed at 8:35 a.m. in Philadelphia after crew members discovered a problem with an indicator light, said JetBlue Airways Corp. spokesman Todd Burke.
With the plane awaiting a mechanical inspection, the 54 passengers were given the option to disembark, Burke said. About 15 passengers chose to wait for an airline bus that left for New York about four hours after landing, he said.
"Mechanical diversions are a part of the airline industry, and in this case it appears that our crew members worked very closely with the airport to make sure that our customers were looked after in a very proper and timely manner," Burke said.
He would not say whether the use of a bus is common but did say it was a commonsense decision consistent with the airline's ongoing policies. All passengers were to receive a free roundtrip voucher, he said.
The airline adopted a customer bill of rights after the disruptions that followed a storm on Valentine's Day. The company had hoped to ride out the bad weather without canceling flights. It later admitted it took too long to call JFK authorities for help in getting passengers off the grounded planes. It couldn't resume normal operations for days because flight crews weren't where they were supposed to be.
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"We're suggesting that any airline that lands at facilities owned by the City of Chicago should adopt a passenger bill of rights," Burke said.