Bad Business Moves 101

As Hoosiers bask in the glory of our new, accommodating Indianapolis airport, let’s hope the airport authority makes sure this never happens to any passengers traveling through the Circle City. Turns out people on a flight from San Salvador to Los Angeles were stuck for 9 hours on a stagnant plane due to fog (although I’m still not getting how they ended up in Ontario):

According to the air carrier, authorities at the Ontario airport did not allow the plane’s 193 passengers to disembark. Local authorities, according to the TACA statement, did not want passengers to pass through customs and enter the country.

Airport officials, however, gave a different story.

According to a statement from Los Angeles World Airports, which operates the Ontario facility, TACA never asked that passengers be allowed to exit the aircraft.

The airline planned to take off from the airport soon after it refueled, according to the airport agency. But as the plane waited for fog to clear at LAX, the airline did not request that U.S. Customs and Border Protection process passengers so they could stretch their legs or sit in the terminal.

Although the airport did not have customs staff on hand to process exiting passengers, it could have summoned them, according to the airport agency.

"It is also unknown why, even after suggested, TACA staff did not request clearance to have their passengers deplane for humanitarian reasons," the agency said in a prepared statement.

Water and snacks were provided to passengers about 4 a.m. by airport staff, and emergency responders received "a few reports" of passenger illnesses, airport officials said. No one was hospitalized.

Mmmm, thanks for the water and snacks, guy.

How miserable that must’ve been. I absolutely can’t stand flying, usually because I’m stuck next to a screaming baby or some guy whose breath smells like he ate Keith Richards. And who knows how many times these people had to sit through the on-board screenings of "Whale Rider" or "Big Momma’s House 2."

Had this been me, I’m afraid there would have been a massive freak out, the magnitude of which I’d rather not disclose. But I have visions of being like those wizards on "Cops" who always think they can kick the window out of the police car and escape.

This would have been absolute torture. Sort of like watching Rosie O’Donnell’s variety show. Oooooh, too soon?

Want to Start a Political Movement? Try Social Media

The National Conference of State Legislatures’ blog has a post explaining how some folks, who may lack free speech privileges in their countries, are using Facebook as a way to broadcast their political messages:

This ‘Facebook political movement’ has also taken off in Egypt. One blogger, Sandmonkey, talks about how new media are being used to promote political activism. The LA Times wrote an op-ed on how the Egyptian government has threatened to shut down Facebook, after it was credited for helping to mobilize protests against food prices earlier this year. Moroccans used YouTube to capture protesters clashing with security forces, because sights like this would not be shown on state-run TV. Activists in Lebanon used text messaging to organize an anti-Syria rally.

And as I’ve posted before, Congress has gotten in on the social media action via Twitter. In fact, Indiana’s gubernatorial candidates — Governor Mitch Daniels and challenger Jill Long Thompson — currently have their own feeds (as best I can tell, these are official campaign feeds and not just orchestrated by fans).