Fri, Nov 18, 2011
Carriers Report Expanded Tarmac Delay Data On Domestic Flights
Under New DOT Consumer Rule
Airlines reported a total of three tarmac delays longer than
three hours on domestic flights in September, according to the U.S.
Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer
The larger U.S. airlines have been required to report tarmac
delays of more than three hours on their domestic flights since
April 29, 2010. Under a new rule that took effect Aug. 23, 2011,
all U.S. and foreign airlines operating at least one aircraft with
30 or more passenger seats must report lengthy tarmac delays at
U.S. airports. Today’s report is the first since the new rule
went into effect.
Also beginning Aug. 23, carriers operating international flights
may not allow tarmac delays at U.S. airports to last longer than
four hours. This is in addition to the three-hour limit on domestic
tarmac delays, which went into effect in April 2010. There were no
reports of international flights with tarmac delays of more than
four hours between Aug. 23 and Sept. 30.
Exceptions to the time limits for both domestic and
international flights are allowed only for safety, security or air
traffic control-related reasons.
All three of the reported tarmac delays involved flights departing
from Washington Dulles International Airport on Sept. 14, when
there were severe thunderstorms in the area.
The monthly report also includes data on on-time performance,
chronically delayed flights, flight cancellations, and the causes
of flight delays filed with the Department by the reporting
carriers. In addition, the report contains information on airline
bumping, reports of mishandled baggage filed by consumers with the
carriers, and consumer service, disability and discrimination
complaints received by DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection
Division. This report also includes reports of incidents
involving pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S.
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