DOT says crew not at fault for Continental flight 2816 delay


“We have processes in place to avoid these situations and those processes clearly broke down in this case.” This was part of the statement made today by Continental Airlines chairman and CEO Larry Kellner, which was issued the following statement regarding Continental Express Flight 2816 (operated by ExpressJet Airlines), that was subjected to a lengthy ground delay following a weather diversion to Rochester, Minnesota on August 8, 2009.

Kellner is responding to the findings of a US Department of Transportation (DOT) investigation that the ExpressJet crew was not at fault and that the local representative of Mesaba Airlines (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, improperly refused the requests of the captain to let her passengers off the plane.

“Continental takes responsibility for the care of its customers, whether they are on our regional partners’ flights or our own,” Kellner said. “We are gratified that Secretary LaHood recognized the crew’s efforts to resolve the situation.

“While the result for the customers was clearly unacceptable, it is evident that the ExpressJet crew worked through the night to resolve the situation and was frustrated with Delta Connection’s failure to provide reasonable assistance. We are working to ensure that doesn’t happen again,” Kellner said.