New Airline Passenger Rules

Published by May 1, 2010

The US Department of Transportation issued new airline passenger rules this week.  One of the more prominent rules addresses unreasonable delays on the tarmac, keeping passengers trapped in a grounded airplane.  The following is an excerpt from an article on CNN.com.

The DOT’s tarmac delay rule subjects airlines to stiff fines if passengers are stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours. It was prompted by a string of long delays dating back to December 2006, which DOT documents say caused passengers “undue discomfort and inconvenience.”

The tipping point for DOT Secretary Ray LaHood came in August 2009, when 47 airline passengers were trapped overnight on a tarmac in Rochester, Minnesota.

Passengers reported subsisting on rationed Pringles potato chips and said the toilet stopped working.

“There was no common sense used, no decency towards people that were sitting on a plane,” LaHood said Tuesday at a news conference.

The tarmac delay rule has been widely discussed and debated since it was announced in December, but it is only one of a series of new DOT regulations designed to protect commercial airline passengers.

Travel insurance can provide relief for travelers whose trip is delayed or interrupted because of a plane remaining on the tarmac.

Trip interruption coverage can reimburse the traveler the cost of unused portions of the trip if there is inclement weather or mechanical breakdown of the airlines.

Missed connection coverage will reimburse the costs of catching up to the trip if a cruise, tour or other trip departure is missed because of an airline delay.

Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.