At Last – New Aviation Regulations For Flight Delays

December 22, 2009 | By | Reply More
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In the midst of all the noise about health care reform and the crush of preparing for the holidays, you may have missed the good news about the new federal aviation regulations that limit the time airline passengers can be delayed on tarmacs to 3 hours.  No longer will you risk being held hostage on a cramped plane filled with crying babies and overflowing restrooms for untold hours with no access to adequate facilities.

Under the new regulations, aircraft are permitted to stay on the tarmac waiting for clearence to take off for up to 3 hours and then must return to the terminal so passengers have access to bathrooms, food, phones and other services.  After 2 hours ‘on the tarmac’ passengers must be provided with food and drink, and medical attention if required.  While airline representatives claim these new regulations will lead to further delays, passengers are breathing a giant sigh of relief.  I was shocked to read that during the first 6 months of 2009, 613 planes were delayed on tarmacs for more than 3 hours.  The new regulations also carry some teeth – fines of $27,500 per passenger for each violation over the 3 hour limit.

Will there be unintended consequenses?  Perhaps.  But at least airline passengers won’t be held captive with no control and no one to look after their physical well-being any longer.  To me this is definitely a step in the right direction at last!

Category: Good To Know