After dozens of people were forced to sleep over at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport last month, the airport is asking airlines to consider the Island’s limited resources and accommodations when planning future flights.

About 40 people spent the night at the small terminal on July 29 after JetBlue canceled two flights off the Island, one to Washington, D.C. and another to New York.

Since then, 37 passengers who were supposed to be on the flight to LaGuardia Airport wrote a lengthy email to JetBlue officials and the Island airport, calling on JetBlue to reimburse them potentially thousands of dollars to make up for the cancellation.

“We were repeatedly misled, placed in dangerous and uncomfortable circumstances, and lied to,” the passengers wrote in an email Friday. “Our flight was delayed almost 20 hours, with inconsistent communication, and a complete disregard for our wellbeing.”

On Monday, airport director Geoff Freeman said he’s pushing for airlines to avoid late cancellations that can leave people struggling to find hotel rooms during the busy summer season.

“We are encouraging the airlines to really think about the situation,’ he said.

The July JetBlue flight cancellations were blamed on the storms in the area, among other factors. Between 35 and 45 people ended up staying at the airport on cots supplied by Island emergency officials.

In the email to JetBlue and the airport, passengers on the LaGuardia Airport flight gave a blow-by-blow retelling of events.

The flight was originally set to depart at 6:48 p.m. that Saturday. The passengers claim they boarded at 6:15 p.m. but were then told around 7:30 p.m. that takeoff was delayed due to weather.

By 9 p.m., passengers were told to get off the plane and return to the gate, where they stood under a tent outside as rain started to come down, according to the email.

“We had no idea if the flight would eventually be canceled, if we should be looking for accommodations (everything on the island closes early–including many of the hotel desks that could have potentially booked housing for us), or if we would even be given food,” the group wrote.

By 11 p.m., the flight crew had timed out its shift, unable to fly again, but the crew from the New York flight was supposed to shift over. Around 11:45 p.m., the gate agent said that people would be boarding the flight.

But at midnight, as the crew was preparing for takeoff, the gate to the tarmac unexpectedly locked, and nobody could get through because the airport crew didn’t have the combination to open it, the passengers claimed.

The Federal Aviation Administration was called to get emergency clearance to let passengers through the general aviation gates, but by the time things were resolved, the pilot for the flight had timed out and wasn’t able to fly.

“Had the issue with the gate lock not occurred, we would all have boarded the flight in time, the pilot would not have timed out, and we’d have made it home,” the passengers wrote. “This was a disastrous lack of transparency, communication, and coordination on the part of JetBlue.”

The continual delay through the evening left many people with nowhere to stay except the terminal, which normally closes after the last flight of the day.

In a statement to the Gazette, JetBlue spokesperson Derek Dombrowski apologized for the inconvenience and extensive delay on the flight.

“Emails have been sent to our customers on the flight with instructions on how to submit relevant expenses for reimbursement,” he wrote in an email. The airline also provided customers with an additional $200 in JetBlue credit, and those who chose not to travel were eligible for a refund.

Mr. Freeman wrote to the passengers on Monday, saying the airport was disappointed in the events and the hardships placed on them.

The airport is attempting to get funding to enclose the post-screening area, as well, he wrote.

“Obviously this does not help the situation for all involved but the Airport understands the additional needs for the flying public,” Mr. Freeman wrote. “We hope that these situations never get to the extent that you experienced again, but I am grateful that the Island services were able to provide some assistance to those involved.”

Mr. Freeman did note that the airport has no control over JetBlue or any other airline’s operations, but he tried to get the realities of Island travel across to them in order to avoid stranding people late into the night.

“I think they got the feeling from the airport that this cannot happen again,” he said. “It is entirely up to them on what they want to do.”