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What's Happening Now

August 29, 2010 6:00 pm

1. The tarmac delay limit should apply to all commercial passenger flights. Being stuck on a hot, stinking plane is what is no matter the size of the plane, no matter who owns it.

2. The tarmac delay rule should apply to airports as well as airlines.

3. Making the delay interval part of the rules of carriage is less important than making sure excessive tarmac delays don’t happen. Both airports and airlines should return delayed planes to the terminal as a matter of course.

4. Three hours is still too long. As it happens, I have arthritis which is sometimes aggravated when I sit with my knees sharply bent. In three hours I might well be in intense pain (so I avoid long flights anyway). If I were writing this rule, I’d say one hour is the maximum permissible delay.

August 29, 2010 6:16 pm

Rather than set explicit dollar amounts for compensation, just make it equivalent to or twice the cost of the ticket in question. That way, the compensation automatically tracks changes in air fares over time.

It’s also worth noting that when I buy bus, train, or ferry tickets I pay up front and own the ticket (i. e., have entered into a contract with the carrier). If I miss the train, I lose. Why are airline tickets different? Why are airlines allowed to oversell flights as a matter of course?

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