Passengers on a Canada-bound flight were made to sit on the tarmac at Boston Logan International Airport for around two hours and were forced to delete videos of the incident from their phones by an airline staff member, who also threatened to have them arrested if they failed to comply.
After would-be passengers of the Toronto-bound Porter Airlines flight learned about the cancellation of their flight due to a mechanical malfunction on the aircraft, they were ordered to leave the plane and wait in the terminal building.
"There was a problem with the latch door to the luggage compartment and when it passed 10 o'clock apparently the crew couldn't fly anymore because…in their words, they would turn into pumpkins," Toronto resident Kira Wegler, returning home from a Florida vacation with her family, told Canadian television network Global News.
Porter Airlines attributed the delay to a "bomb cyclone" that hit Boston and other parts of the East Coast on 5 January.
After being informed that the gate's public address system was non-functional, passengers had to line up to get information individually from Porter staff.
Out of frustration passengers started pulling out their phones and video-recording Porter staff delivering information, which angered the staff.
"At that point, the personnel came from behind the desk and started threatening us, to call the police if we don't delete the videos off of our phones and show evidence that it's gone from our trash bin," said Wegler.
Porter Airlines offered an apology after Global News asked for an explanation.
''In this particular case, there was a misunderstanding by the team member involved that taking video at this particular airport beyond the security checkpoint was not permitted,'' said Brad Cicero, spokesperson for Porter Airline.
''In fact, the prohibition applies to secure airport areas and security screening. He didn't realise the distinction at the time, but we have advised the team members involved for future reference. While the request to stop filming or delete footage was incorrect, the intention was only to try and enforce what was believed to be an airport policy,'' said Cicero.