Thursday, April 29, 2010

New tarmac rule protects airline passengers

A new rule now protects airline passengers from spending more than 3 hours parked on a tarmac waiting for takeoff. (Read CNN report on the rule.) The fine for violations is $27,500 per passenger. The airline industry fought the rule calling it a costly, undue burden. Some airlines sought waivers at certain airports, like NYC's JFK International. The USDOT turned them down.

Why would an airline need a waiver for this rule? What is the undue burden here? Are the airlines trying to say that sitting on the tarmac for 3+ hours after leaving the gate should be considered a normal and acceptable possibility? I wonder when was the last time an airline executive flew coach and got stuck on a tarmac for more than 3 hours? Clearly they don't know what it's like to be stuffed into the cabin like a sardine with limited room for movement, limited airflow, limited access to lavatories, and no refreshments. The new rule doesn't even require the airlines to provide water and snacks until after the plane has been sitting for 2 hours!

If an airline thinks a 2+ hour- let alone 3+ hour- delay is that possible, CHANGE THE FLIGHT SCHEDULE!!! Don't hold me hostage!!!

Oh, Good Evening!