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Tarmac Delays are Dropping

June 13, 2011

Since April 2010, U.S. airlines have been prohibited from leaving domestic flights on the tarmac for more than three hours without letting passengers deplane. In a recent news release, the U.S. Department of Transportation said that long tarmac delays have largely disappeared since this rule has been in place.

DOT figures showed only 20 tarmac delays of more than three hours between May 2010 and April 2011, compared with 693 during the same period in 2009-2010.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the reduction in tarmac delays "a giant step forward for the rights of air travelers."

Federal officials plan to impose a similiar rule for international flights starting Aug. 23. The limit for delays for those flights would be four hours instead of three.

For more information and the release, visit the L.A. Times online.

 (There is a downside to the year-old rule, though. Read about the increase in flight cancellations in this CNN story.)

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