Aviation & Space Law

Stuck on Snowy Airport Tarmac Nearly 12 Hours, Passengers Weren't Covered by New Deplaning Rule

After airline passengers complained about sometimes being stranded for hours on the tarmac without food and other amenities, due to unusual weather conditions, new federal regulations were adopted holding carriers responsible for such delays and requiring that passengers be able to deplane after three hours.

But they don’t apply to international carriers. And, as much of the Northeast was brought to a near-standstill this week by a thick blanket of snow, passengers aboard a Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. flight spent almost 12 hours on the ground yesterday at Kennedy International Airport in New York waiting for a gate, reports Bloomberg. Those aboard a British Airways plane were kept waiting nearly eight hours.

Understandably irked, they were told by local officials their carriers were to blame for not making sure gates were available before taking off.

Articles published by the Associated Press, the New York Times and the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger provide additional details.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com (Sept. 2007): “Passengers Lobby for Airline Reform”

ABAJournal.com (April 2009): “Hot, Tired, Hungry and Stuck on Plane: Passengers are Ready for Reform”

ABAJournal.com (Dec. 2009): “New US Regulation Limits Tarmac Waits to Three Hours”

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