Calls on DOT To Investigate and Fine Airlines Associated With Tarmac Delays

Sep 19, 2012, 10:48 ET from

NAPA, Calif., Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  today called on The Department of Transportation to investigate and fine airlines $27,500 per customer stuck on grounded planes in July.  The DOT announced there were 18 domestic flights stuck on the ground for longer than the tarmac rule allowed in July, making it the second-worst month since the policy took effect in April 2010, according to Transportation Department records.

"It's outrageous that any airline, in face of the fines imposed by DOT, would violate the 3-hour tarmac rule" said Kate Hanni, Executive Director "But for the DOT to avoid fining these air carriers would truly be a tragedy in the face of July's tarmac confinements," continued Kate.  "No other organization fought harder than to stop tarmac delays, and we will not stay silent if these events again become a part of the US air travel experience. There have been several large scale tarmac events for which no fines have been imposed, i.e. October 2011's Snowmageddon at Bradley International, and clearly the airlines will continue holding poor, unsuspecting people hostage on the tarmac unless the DOT enforces the tarmac rule." 

"Weather does not keep a plane out on the tarmac; tarmac strandings are entirely the fault of the airlines and until every airline CEO has been stuck in a hot, sweaty, metal tube without food or water and shrieking babies indefinitely, the tarmac incidents will continue." Continued Hanni.

Domestic flights with longest tarmac delays exceeding three hours were: Shuttle America flight 3512 from Chicago O'Hare to Atlanta, 7/13/12, delayed on tarmac 257 minutes; ExpressJet Airlines flight 6180 from Rapid City, S.D. to Chicago O'Hare, 7/13/12, delayed on tarmac 249 minutes; ExpressJet Airlines flight 5918 from Richmond, Va. to Chicago O'Hare, 7/13/12, delayed on tarmac 242 minutes; SkyWest Airlines flight 5211 from Cleveland to Chicago O'Hare, 7/13/12, delayed on tarmac 221 minutes; ExpressJet Airlines flight 5875 from Harrisburg, Pa. to Chicago O'Hare, 7/13/12, delayed on tarmac 219 minutes.  There was only one international flights with a tarmac delay exceeding four hours: Caribbean Airlines flight 526 from Georgetown, Guyana to New York JFK, 7/7/12, delayed on tarmac 243 minutes. is the largest Airline Passengers Rights Organization in the World with 50,000 members and a toll free hotline manned 24/7 for airline passengers in distress: 1-877-359-3776