In this day and age of smartphones and social media, you just don’t bully people or make threats without knowing that you may become an instant viral sensation.
But that is just what regional carrier Porter Airlines did when it threatened passengers with arrest for recording its agent who was explaining about a delay at Boston Logan International Airport. The Porter agent told people that were recording with their phones to delete the videos, and provide proof it was deleted from their trash, or they would be arrested.
The agent stated that according to security rules, recording in the airport was not allowed, however, the Massachusetts Port Authority (MPA) said there is no such law or policy. Boston Logan does not allow filming in secure airport areas and at security screening, and according to Porter, there was a misunderstanding by the team member involved about just where that secure area was.
Passengers sat on the tarmac in the plane that was headed for Toronto for approximately two hours before they were told the flight had to be canceled because the latch door to a luggage compartment would not close. They were then ordered to deplane and move to the terminal building.
According to the Porter spokesperson, one of the aircraft doors froze and could not be fixed before the crew would have gone beyond the regulations of their duty day limits. Airlines are normally not obligated to compensate passengers for weather-related delays versus mechanical issues.
Toronto resident Kira Wegler said the crew explained after those two hours that they could not fly anymore or they “would turn into pumpkins.” The airline, however, later said the flight was canceled due to the severe winter weather.
In the terminal, passengers were informed that the PA system was malfunctioning, so they would have to get information individually and directly from Porter personnel. That is when people started recording, and that is when Porter agents came out from behind the desk and began threatening passengers to delete their videos or they “were going to have us arrested.”
According to Wegler, most passengers agreed to delete their videos, but she decided to keep some on her phone. A Porter spokesperson, Brad Cicero, told Newsweek that it is not uncommon for staff to ask that video and photos to be deleted and that “there was no direct statement that passengers would be arrested.”
It took three days for passengers to be placed on a different Toronto-bound Porter flight. The airline did provide hotel accommodations and some meal costs during the 3-day delay.
Watch video coverage provided on YouTube via Global News:
Porter Airlines is headquartered at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.