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I'm on a flight that is currently delayed 4 hours due to runway conditions at the destination airport. We boarded and were then de-planed. They made us gate-check all our carry on luggage so that (as per usual) we could pick it up on the jet bridge at the destination.

I'm at a major hub and there are numerous flights into cities near my destination that are not having issues with weather. However, the airline will not return our carry-on bags, so I can't get on a different flight (or even drive it) without giving up my luggage. There are dozens of other passengers in my boat - we'd all like to go on different flights or even drive, but the airline is refusing to retrieve our bags.

Do we have any recourse here other than customer service complaints?

My fear is that they'll keep us here for hours, cancel the flight, and then give us our bags once there's no time to get on the alternative options.

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    Depends on policies of airline, airport, and country. – WGroleau Feb 8 at 21:51
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    This is American Airlines for a domestic flight in the USA. At this point, they finally cancelled the flight, and sent my carry-on to baggage claim, and I was unable to make some of the earlier connections. Thankfully, I still got on the last flight to a city near my destination. So, I'm out of the woods. I'd still be interested in an answer to this, though. – John Chrysostom Feb 8 at 23:46
  • I'm not sure enough to write an answer, but I honestly don't even think that the airline in this situation is required to allow you to deplane, but could have kept both you and your luggage in tha aircraft for an extended period of time. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Feb 9 at 13:05
  • AFAIK the US has some rules for maximum time in the aircraft here, although i don't know the specific names of the rules, but i think it comes from the DOT. – dunni Feb 9 at 19:41

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