American Airlines, Jet Blue, Delta Seek To Delay Tarmac Imprisonment Rule

You know that new rule that says airlines have to let passengers off the plane if it’s stuck on the tarmac for more than 3 hours? It’s supposed to go into effect in April, but at least three airlines are hoping to delay it because they say runway repairs at JFK Airport will interfere with schedules.

The Associated Press says Delta and JetBlue filed for a temporary exemption with the Department of Transportation last week. American Airlines joined in this week, saying any exemption would have to apply to all airlines equally and arguing that the JFK construction will end up costing “millions in fines.” JFK is a main hub for all three of the airlines.

The FAA, however, says that the JFK delays should only be as bad as what normally happens on “busy summer days”–an average of 50 minutes during peak times, and 29 minutes otherwise. Kate Hanni of flyersrights.org told the AP that before the repairs started, JFK traffic was overscheduled by as much as 56%, and that those three carriers have only reduced their schedules by about 10% since construction started.

“American Airlines wants exemption from tarmac rule” [Associated Press via Yahoo!]