"Being stuck on the plane for nearly eight hours before the plane leaves the ground is one of our worst travel nightmares. The children and young families on the plane are very upset. There is no food. The crew only provides excuses. Terrible experience."
This is what one of the passengers said when he was delayed on the tarmac. Many people have heard of the term "tarmac delay", but few people really understand what it really means.
It is the area of the airport where the aircraft is parked on the tarmac or parked. As a passenger, what rights do you have? What are the responsibilities of airlines?
1.What are the tarmac delay rules?
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), tarmac delays occur when an aircraft leaves passengers on the plane for a period of time. It doesn't matter whether you leave or arrive at your destination. If the plane is parked on an airport runway and you are not allowed to get on and off the plane, you will face delays on the tarmac.
DOT stated that tarmac delays only apply to "insurable carriers". This means that the law can only be applied to airlines carrying more than 30 passengers.
The rules for tarmac delays are simple. However, in order to claim your rights as a passenger, it is necessary to understand them. First, you need to know how long an airline can stay in DEPARTING or ARRIVING status at domestic or international airports. If the flight is delayed or cancelled, they must notify you according to the situation.
In both cases, airlines can only retain passengers for a certain period of time. U.S. domestic flights stop for 3 hours, international flights stop for 4 hours, and then passengers get off from the parking lot.
If the waiting time exceeds 2 hours, the airline must provide passengers with food and water, fully functional bathrooms and emergency medical services. If this does not happen, you can ask the flight attendant to provide it. In addition, the airline is responsible for providing you with updates every 30 minutes.
The important thing to note is that the regulations on tarmac delays only apply to flights departing from the United States.
2.Exceptions to tarmac delays
There are some exceptions that increase the waiting time in Tarmac. If the air traffic controller instructs passengers not to leave the aircraft in danger or for safety reasons, the waiting time may be extended.
If you leave the plane on the tarmac, one of the most important things to know is that during your delayed disembarkation, the airline can leave without returning you to the plane and is not responsible for unloading your luggage. This means that the plane will leave you and take your luggage. You need to contact the airline later to restore it.
If the domestic flight tarmac is delayed for more than 3 hours, the international flight waiting time exceeds 4 hours, and the airline does not allow you to choose to disembark, the airline must pay a fine of $27,500 to each passenger.
If the airline fails to comply with these conditions in accordance with the law, you should contact the airline directly by phone or email to inform you of the situation.They have 60 days to respond. If they do not respond, we suggest that you complain directly to the Ministry of Transportation.
Delays stuck on the tarmac can be very annoying, and in some cases it is not the airline’s fault. However, this will never be the passenger's fault. As a responsible user, we encourage you to respect the law and encourage others to learn more about their rights as passengers in this situation.