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December 21, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration took aim Monday at tarmac horror stories, ordering airlines to let passengers stuck in stranded airplanes to disembark after three hours.

With its new regulations, the Transportation Department sent an unequivocal message on the eve of the busy holiday travel season: Don’t hold travelers hostage to delayed flights.

Under the new regulations, airlines operating domestic flights will be able only to keep passengers on board for three hours before they must be allowed to disembark a delayed flight. The regulation provides exceptions only for safety or security or if air traffic control advises the pilot in command that returning to the terminal would disrupt airport operations.

We give credit where credit is due.  Thanks to the Obama administration for enforcing this most common sense of measures.  And to the airlines that are upset that this is forced upon them… What the hell do you expect?  This isn’t rocket science.  Don’t schedule planes that are always late in a way that they’re always going to be late.  You’ve got a plane load of pissed off people.  Do you think they’re going to want to fly your airline again?  You’ve been doing this about a hundred years, so I’m pretty damn sure by now, you can have a pretty good estimate of how long you’ll be stuck on the ground.

99 times out of a hundred I’m against government restrictions on private businesses.  But the airlines have taken it upon themselves to not allow people to leave the aircraft when it is safe to do so.  If I was looking at a 4 hour delay to go somewhere, I’d almost always want to just get off the damn plane and stay home.  Keep my airfare, it isn’t worth it.

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