Jet Blue Tarmac Delay – A Jet Blue delay left passengers on the tarmac for over seven hours.
Airlines can be fined $27,500 per passenger for flights that sit on the tarmac for more than three hours. However, critics say enforcement has been too soft. This delay could be a test.
The tale of a Jet Blue flight stranded on a runway outside Hartford, Conn., for more than seven hours Saturday could be a fresh test of new federal rules that fine airlines for sitting on the tarmac for longer than three hours.
Flight 504 was one of several flights that reportedly sat on runways for hours after they were diverted from landing at New York-area airports because of a combination of events, including the Northeast snowstorm and equipment failures. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating.
Now, the airline industry and passenger’s rights groups will be watching to see how the Department of Transportation applies its new rules about runway delays.
“They’ll be watching what the DOT decides to do, who is at fault, is someone is fined, and how much,” says Andrew Compart, senior editor for Aviation Week.
Tarmac delays are the bane of the airline industry, creating hardships for passengers and bad publicity for the airlines. A high-profile incident in February 2007, involving a Jet Blue plane that sat on the runway for 11 hours at John F. Kennedy International Airport, led to new federal rules in April 2010.