NAPA, Calif. – Today newly released data from Department of Transportation clearly demonstrates significant success for the DOT’s 3 hour tarmac rule, enacted April 29, 2010. The commercial airlines continue to claim that the 3 Hour Rule, which requires that commercial aircraft return to the gate after a period of 3 hours of delay on the tarmac, would cause mass cancellations and virtual Armageddon for airline passengers. While the new consumer protections have only been in place since April, it is clear that these rules are working as intended, to protect passengers.
The October data is extraordinary; there were zero tarmac delays of over 3 hours down from 11 in 2009, and flight cancellations were reduced from .99% in October of 2009 to .97% for October of 2010.
According to the latest data, for the same 6 month period in 2009 there were 546 tarmac delays of over 3 hours compared to the same 6 month period in 2010, when we’ve seen only 12. To see the latest DOT data: http://airconsumer.dot.gov/reports/index.htm.
“3 hour tarmac strandings are nearly eliminated because of the new rule, and the number of cancellations is actually down from the 15 year 6 month average of 1.78% (excluding September 2001) to 1.17% for the same 6 month period in 2010; that’s a huge decrease in overall cancellations,” said Kate Hanni, Founder of FlyersRights.org. “The reality of the rule is that it has made the airlines do the right thing and made travel better and more humane for everyone—it’s proof that protecting passengers can be both efficient and good business.”
“The DOT has hit a home run with the 3 hour rule. We hope they move swiftly to announce their new rule further enhancing airline passengers rights.”
“The new Congress should move quickly to both include the airline passengers bill of rights in the FAA Modernization Bill and pass it quickly so that airline passengers have permanent, enforceable and sustainable rights,” said Kate Hanni.