This really, really, really has been a terrible summer to fly. A Continental Airlines flight from Caracas to Newark was re-routed to Baltimore because of bad weather. Once there, it sat on the tarmac for 5 hours, where the plane (as we’ve heard in other cases) became disgusting. The passengers started to get angry, then began drumming in unison on the overhead bins, leading the pilots to call the police. The police arrived and got the passengers off the plane, which is exactly what they wanted.
Continental barely (if at all) apologized, instead insisting that they had "chips, pretzels and water" available (as if this was an acceptable response for keeping people in a tin can for 5 hours). I have no idea why airlines repeatedly try to defend themselves in these situations — it doesn’t matter why it happened, passengers find it unacceptable to be essentially held hostage for hours on end. Claiming there were pretzels available makes no one feel better.