The airlines reported a total of 21 major tarmac delays for July.
For domestic flights there were 11 delays of more than three hours. For international flights there were 10 delays of more than four hours according to a US Department of Transportation (DOT) report released yesterday. All extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.
Also, the Department received 1,963 complaints about airline service from consumers last month.
Pushing the Envelope
This may be the highest number of tarmac delays since the FlyersRights’ rule was enacted by the DOT in 2009.
Consequently, we plan on issuing a public statement calling on the DOT to provide appropriate fines, compensation and swiftly identify the incidents and the airlines involved.
We also plan on filing a Freedom of Information Act request, with a copy to the Congressional oversight and aviation committees.
These DOT rules are meant to promise relief from airline maltreatment and protect passengers’ rights. They set a fixed limit on the time airlines can keep passengers onboard a delayed flight, and specify what the airlines must provide within two hours of a tarmac delay to make passengers as comfortable as possible. Otherwise heavy fines are levied on airlines who don’t comply.