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America's Worst Tarmac Delays

Continental Airlines

David Coleman / Alamy

Rochester, MN: 6 hours

On August 7, 2009, a Continental flight operated by ExpressJet flying from Houston to Minneapolis was diverted to Minnesota’s Rochester International Airport because of thunderstorms. The plane spent six hours on the tarmac in Rochester before it was permitted to resume its flight to the Twin Cities. During that time, the pilot apparently tried to allow the 47 passengers to disembark, but since Continental had no employees there, they had to stay put. Passengers reported that they were fed only a bag of pretzels, and that by the time the plane finally took off in the morning, the bathroom was out of order.

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