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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DoT Reports Tarmac Delays in October

Airlines reported a total of seven tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and 11 tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights in October, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DoT) Air Travel Consumer Report.  

The larger U.S. airlines have been required to report long tarmac delays on their domestic flights since October 2008. Under a new rule that took effect Aug. 23, 2011, all U.S. and foreign airlines operating at least one aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats must report lengthy tarmac delays at U.S. airports. Also beginning Aug. 23, carriers operating international flights may not allow tarmac delays at U.S. airports to last longer than four hours.  This is in addition to the three-hour limit on domestic tarmac delays, which went into effect in April 2010.

All of the domestic tarmac delays longer than three hours and international tarmac delays longer than four hours took place Oct. 29, when a early snowstorm hit the East Coast. All of these flight delays involved flights bound for either New York JFK or Newark, N.J., airports, according to the DoT. Nearly all of the tarmac delays took place at airports to which these flights were diverted.

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