DOT’s tarmac delay rule has all but eliminated lengthy ground holds for US domestic passengers, but critics contend the price is too high.
When the US Dept. of Transportation implemented its tarmac delay rule in April 2010, the airline industry warned that the government was using a flamethrower to kill a mosquito and that the cure would be much worse than the disease as far as air travelers were concerned. Extended tarmac delays were a rarity, the industry pointed out, averaging just 1 in 1,000 flights in June 2009 based on airline schedule data filed with DOT. By mandating a 3-hr. limit after which aircraft must return ...
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