Facing fines, airline delays keep dwindling – TravelMole true

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Facing fines, airline delays keep dwindling

Saturday, 11 May, 2011 0

Passengers may remember how the airline industry predicted catastrophe last year when the federal government proposed fines against carriers that kept passengers stranded on delayed planes for more than three hours. What happened?

It turned out to be little more than hot air.

In the time frame of almost a year, the airlines have had only 16 domestic flights delayed for more than three hours nationwide, said the US Department of Transportation.

That compares with 689 flights delayed for more than three hours in the same 11-month period before the fines started.

The new rule prohibits US airlines from letting a domestic flight sit on the tarmac for more than three hours without allowing passengers to return to the terminal. The rule allows exceptions for safety or security.

Other exceptions include if air traffic control officials warn the pilot that returning to the terminal would disrupt airport operations.

Airlines that violate the rule face a fine of up to $27,500 for every passenger left stranded on the plane.

So far, the Department of Transportation has yet to impose a fine on an airline.

By David Wilkening


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