WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) — U.S. airlines reported three tarmac delays in September under new reporting rules, the Department of Transportation said Thursday.
As of Aug. 23, airlines that have “at least one aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats,” are required to report any delays of three hours or more in which passengers are stuck in planes for domestic fights for more than three hours. For international flights, the rules apply for passengers stuck on the tarmac for more than four hours.
For September, the three flights with delays beyond three hours all occurred near Washington D.C. at the Dulles International Airport on Sept. 14.
Those delays were attributed to “severe thunderstorms,” the department said.
There were no four hour delays reported for September, the department said in a statement.
The Department of Transportation said Monday it had fined American Eagle Airlines $900,000 for tarmac delays that took place May 29, 2011 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
While there are some exceptions allowed, it is illegal for airlines to keep passengers on board a plane for more than three hours without giving the passengers an opportunity to deplane.