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Department of Transportation mulls expanded passenger delay rule
"The situation is much worse than the [official] statistics indicate," said George Hobica of AirfareWatchdog.com. "We have to include every airport, every type of plane and every type of flight."
Unsurprisingly, the International Air Transport Association isn't crazy about Hobica's approach, with spokesman Steve Lott saying, "If DOT goes ahead with this, they're going to cause a much larger problem than the one they think they're trying to solve."
The final rule won't come down until the spring, so there's plenty of time for both sides to fight this out.
For the airline sector, this measure seems to be seen as a signal of something much worse – the prospect of broad regulation and constraints on its ability to operate
International carriers oppose the expanded rules – shocking, right?! Lott, taking the standard industry stance, raises the issue of cancellation instead of risking a $27,500 per
This may be a risk, but the data tells the only reliable story:
[photo by williamcho via Flickr]
Meanwhile, as the airline industry and consumer advocates press their points of view, two truths regarding tarmac delays remain. Delays of three hours or more for domestic flights are down substantially since the original rule went into effect - there were only three in July, says DOT, compared to 161 during the same period last year - and international flights do present a much more challenging scenario.