Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle was stuck aboard a plane on an airport runway Tuesday evening — and he was not happy about the situation at all.
The Tipp City Republican tweeted about his predicament, and his frustration came through loud and clear.
“Been trapped on @AmericanAir 3542 for two hours on the tarmac in Syracuse,” Beagle tweeted about 15 hours ago. “No end in sight. Send help.”
Then he added the hashtag: “#neverflyAmerican.”
When American Airlines at one point tweeted, “Sorry for the wait tonight. Looks like there’s some air traffic delays in ORD. We’ll have you in the air ASAP,” Beagle responded: “Liars.”
“Just take us back to the gate so we can rebook tomorrow w/ @Delta,” Beagle wrote.
“ORD” is the airport designation for Chicago’s O’Hare International, which once was known as “Orchard Field.”
At another point, the senator tweeted that he was entering his third hour stuck on the tarmac.
“Beginning third hour onboard @AmericanAir 3542 in Syracuse. They won’t let us off or tell us anything. Just waiting for O’Hare to clear. We could apparently wait here for hours w/ no food or anything. #neverflyAmerican.”
Three hours is too long, according to U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
“For flights departing from a U.S. airport, airlines are required to begin to move the airplane to a location where passengers can safely get off before 3 hours for domestic flights and 4 hours for international flights,” the federal department says on its web site.
Reached Wednesday, Beagle said he and his fellow passengers were on the plane for more than three hours. He said they finally got to Chicago about 11 p.m. or midnight local time.
“I don’t know when that meter starts running,” the senator said, when asked about DOT tarmac delay standards.
He finally returned to Dayton this morning after managing to get a flight to Columbus from Chicago, for which he thanked American.
“God bless the people at American; they worked with me to get me on to the flight to Columbus,” he said.
There, Beagle said his wife was able to pick him up and he retrieved his car from Dayton International.
He finally pulled into his garage in Tipp City (near Dayton International) after 3 a.m. Wednesday. Some of his events for Wednesday were cancelled, but that was because he thought initially he would be stuck in Chicago overnight.
“We’re trying to pick up the pieces,” he said Wednesday.
The senator said flight attendants allowed passengers to use cell phones and left the plane door unsealed during the layover. At one point, cookies were passed out.
Beagle said he had no issues with any of the people on board, including the flight attendants. “I tried to give compliments to American,” in a private message on Twitter, he said.
He has left his tweets up on his Twitter page.