Via Random Nuclear Strikes we have an example of airliner security going way over board. An airplane going from Houston to Minneapolis had to land in Rochester due to severe weather. During this 6 hour delay the passengers were trapped and not allowed to leave the plane until security screeners returned for their shift.
During their stay on the plane the single toilet on board overflowed and of course you had angry people and babies screaming. Not what I’d call humane conditions. So why does the TSA require agents there before people trapped on a planet can get off? Well they don’t:
Airlines, not TSA, make the decision on whether or not to deplane passengers if there is a delay or diversion. TSA does not prohibit airlines deplaning passengers and re-boarding without screening as long as they don’t exit past the checkpoint and leave the secure area, regardless of whether or not TSA officers are conducting screening operations.
In addition, TSA has the ability to recall security officers and resume screening passengers after hours at the request of an airline or airport.
So the airliners could have let people off at any point. Hell they could have recalled a couple TSA officers if it made them feel better. But instead they left people trapped on a plane, probably due to CYA (Cover Your Ass) security. But here is the funny part in my book:
Continental Airlines did apologize to the passengers, saying their ordeal was “completely unacceptable” and offering refunds and vouchers for future flights.
I’m sorry if I ever was subjected to such conditions on an airliners the last thing I would do is fly with those pricks again.