Did the FAA really think airlines wanted to keep passengers idol on tarmacs across the country for more than three hours? That’s what the people who care about you figured, so they came up with a passenger bill of rights (ugh) that would fine airlines $27,500 per passenger if they were stuck more than three hours.
Back in Dec. 2009 I wrote about the why don’t they do something legislation.
In general, good management is dull management, but when you’re operating flight services dependent on everything from weather to union rules, you’re going to experience delays.
For certain, I’d want to get off the damn airplane if we were sitting on taxiway tango 10 for three hours, but if I found out the weather was going to be clear to fly in 10 minutes, but we had to go back to the terminal and deplane due to a federal regulation – I’d be even more ticked off.
My predictions have come true to a certain extent. From NJ.com.
A Star-Ledger analysis of federal DOT figures reveals airlines are simply canceling more flights, presumably to avoid idling on the tarmac and exposing themselves to the whopping fines. In fact, the cancellation rate at the nation’s major airports surged 24 percent during the eight months after the rule went into effect. …
The data does not take into account variables like weather, the most common factor in cancellations. For example, some 1,620 flights were canceled at Newark Liberty alone during a two-day period following the blizzard that struck Dec. 26.
Putting aside the December figures, the national cancellation rate rose 9 percent during the May-November period in 2010, compared with a year earlier, for 3,675 more canceled flights.
Flight delays suck, but if the FAA really thinks they can will them away by imposing huge fines when it happens, they prove themselves to be absolute idiots.