Lineups at major airports are testing the patience of flight crews as they endure hours of what is effectively unpaid overtime. Although security delays and the effect on passengers have dominated the news, Customs bottlenecks and other issues have resulted in an increase in deplaning delays. Rather than pack the Customs hall, arriving aircraft are ordered to keep passengers onboard and since they can’t be left there on their own, the crew become unpaid supervisors. It’s not going over very well according to a union spokesman.
“When you land at 6:03, you’re planning, ‘Okay, at 6:30 I’ll be in the cab, at seven o’clock, I’ll be home,” Wesley Lesosky, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “When you’re still on the plane at 10 and nobody is giving you any answer as to what’s going on, you’re fit to be tied. We all are. It can definitely get tense. We’ve definitely heard of cases of people being screamed at.”