Your Flight to Cancun is Canceled. You're Welcome.

Are three hours of your time worth $27,500? If they're spent in an airplane on the tarmac, then the U.S. Department of Transportation says they are. In December, the government announced that it would soon begin enforcing new rules that fine airlines per passengers for any tarmac delay that lasts more than three hours. The fines go into effect on April 29, meaning that a delayed 747 jammed full of people headed to their summer vacations could cost the airline more than $13 million.

But wait! If a flight is canceled, then the fine is void. Too bad no one can see the future to know what will happen next. Just kidding. We know exactly what will happen next.

So let's just go ahead and make this an official announcement: Starting in April, every flight that is delayed more than three hours in the United States of America is canceled. The flight that was delayed for the rainstorm that shows signs of clearing at 2 hours and 55 minutes? Canceled. The flight delayed for a repair that will take 3 hours and 4 minutes? Canceled.

And, of course, should an airline violate the delay rules and be forced to pay the fine, the cash won't go the passengers. But the passengers sleeping on the floor of the airport will enjoy the full realization of their "fundamental right to be treated with respect," according to Department of Transportation spokeswoman Maureen Knightly. So that's nice.

It sucks to be stuck on a plane for hours. No doubt about that. But in the government's traditional follow-but-pretend-you're-leading role, the new federal rules come three years after JetBlue garnered a bunch of negative publicity for a stranded flight on Valentine's Day in 2007 and immediately changed its policy to a four hour max wait rule. The rule caused cancellations to quintuple.

Via Jacob Grier.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • The Gobbler||

    "And, of course, should an airline violate the delay rules and be forced to pay the fine, the cash won't go the passengers."

    So where will it go? Or any of the other fines collected by the government? Is there a website that tells us where all of the various fines go? How much was collected, etc?

  • ||

    That is State Secret, comrade! If that information is public the terrorists and the teabaggers win!

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I am shocked at your racist tone. Now every one of us on this tube will be suspect, painted with the broad brush that you, yourself, and you have swung.

  • prolefeed||

    John -- your talk about broads and swinging tubes is totally sexist. ;)

  • K-Y||

    John -- your talk about broads and swinging tubes is totally sexy. ;)

  • ||

    Definitely just laughed out loud at work. That was... honestly just delightful. Thank you.

  • The Gobbler||

    BTW: Ex-NYC police Chief Kerik gets 4 years in prison...

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....&tsp=1

  • zoltan||

    Ugh, only four years. Corruption should be a life sentence.

  • Xeones||

    The solution, obviously, is more regulation.

  • bubba||

    LOL

    I don't know what else to say.

  • ||

    Are three hours of your time worth $27,500.

    Is this a question? How would we know? HOW WOULD WE KNOW?!?

  • ||

    Are three hours of your time worth $27,500?

    My work here is done. [smoke pellet!]

  • ||

    But now I see "canceled" is spelled the dirty European way in the body, and the wholesome American way in the title!

    Oh, the humanity!

  • ||

    My work here is even more doner! [smoke pellet!]

  • The other alan||

    I don't know - I think it was Balko who said at some point, after a certain number of hours on the tarmac, you have effectively been kidnapped by the airline. Cancelling at least lets you off the plane and have a chance at rescheduling.

  • MNG||

    "I think it was Balko who said at some point, after a certain number of hours on the tarmac"
    +1

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What was it that prevented passengers from just exiting the plane even if it meant they would have to spend more money on another ticket?

    I mean, this is not an issue with Greyhound or Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach, where is a bus is kept waiting, passengers will just get off.

  • ||

    The planes were often pulled away from the terminal, meaning there was no way off.

    Even when still attached, once they shut the doors, its like a federal TSA offense to try to get off the plane.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Even when still attached, once they shut the doors, its like a federal TSA offense to try to get off the plane.


    Eliminating that offense would be a good idea.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Even when still attached, once they shut the doors, its like a federal TSA offense to try to get off the plane.


    Eliminating that offense would be a good idea.

  • ||

    We won't be the recipients of the fines, but we'll sure as hell be paying for them.

  • MH||

    I would so much rather be stuck in the airport than on the tarmac, that I'm fine with the fines.

  • Maverick||

    When the airlines go out of business in the next couple of years, will they get a bail out? Worked like a charm for Alitalia . . .

  • Ted S.||

    I presume you've read Michael Totten's experience with Alitalia?

  • Maverick||

    No, but I'll read Totten's post in its entirety later.

    I lived in Italy for 3+ years and had numerous negative experiences both directly and indirectly with Alitalia. Alitalia = Always Late In Takeoff Always Late In Arrival. Oh, and as a bonus, they'll lose your bags too.

  • ||

    I'm shocked to learn that travel to, from, or within Italy could result in "missing" personal effects.

  • MH||

    It is a pathetic win, but it is a win. Previously, you could be stuck stationary on the ground for as long as the airline wanted you there. As a passenger, your only way to get out was to assault somebody.

  • Paul||

    Right, so the it never occurred to regulators who are in a position to regulate, that maybe a regulation would be to allow passengers an option to cancel their own flight sans penalties if delays extend more than three hours? You know, if you're going to regulate, that is.

  • ||

    Here's an idea. If the plane is on the tarmac for X number of minutes or hours or if the captain or airline thinks it is in the best interest of the passengers they could RETURN THE PLANE TO THE FUCKING GATE AND LET EVERYONE OFF!!!

    And if there is no available gate, pull one of those rolling stairways over and let the poor slobs walk off.

  • Paul||

    That's exactly what I'm talking about. "We're going to be delayed and we've already been here 2.5 hours, and it looks like this delay will extend past the FAA regulated 3 hour limit. Those passengers not willing to continue to wait may de-board the plane and cancel their flight with no penalty (and/or reschedule for a later flight- good luck flying out today), those passengers wishing to wait out the delay may do so."

  • prolefeed||

    This exemplies the UBEFC (Unintended But Entirely Foreseeable Consequences) rule.

  • ||

    Excuse me for shouting...

    IS ANYONE FROM REASON D.C. PLANNING ON COVERING THIS?

    Nancy Pelosi piñata at Conservative Political Action Conference.

    I want pictures! And an intern scrabbling on the ground for sweet, sweet Nancy candy.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    After readding the last line the first thought I had was "I can't wait for SF to respond to this"...then I looked at the poster. It's like ESP but only not.

    I sense a disturbance in the force.

  • ||

    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

  • ||

    Starting in April, every flight that is delayed more than three hours in the United States of America is cancelled. The flight that was delayed for the rainstorm that shows signs of clearing at 2 hours and 55 minutes? Cancelled. The flight delayed for a repair that will take 3 hours and 4 minutes? Cancelled.

    hyperbole much?

    What is more likely to happen, rather than cancelling all these flights and wreaking havoc on all their other flights is that the airlines (all airlines) will be less likely to load up planes and taxi away from the gate unless they are pretty confident that they will be taking off. THere will be a lot less of planes stacking up in line to take off and waiting on the tarmac for the all clear for hours on end.

    And that's a good thing. It also will probably force airlines to be more honest about on flight times and delays.

    I have personally been on numerous flights where they say they are on-time and board when they knew damn well that they weren't going to actually have wheels up for hours but they won't officially delay the flight on their boards.

    I think this is a real win for passengers.

  • prolefeed||

    What is sure to happen, Tom, is what has actually happened -- massive cancellations of flights to avoid the wildly excessive flights.

    No need to speculate about the likely outcomes when RTFA would tell you what the actual outcome is.

  • prolefeed||

    Should read "wildly excessive FINES"

  • ||

    I was on a wildly excessive flight once. To Cancun at spring break. Good times. . . .

  • Maverick||

    Flew into Varna, Bulgaria in late June a few years ago . . . dropping some people off and filling up with gas. An unmarked, Airbus 320 landed and parked next to us as we waited for fuel. When this plane disembarked on the tarmac (no gates in that part of the world), all of the passengers were blonde-haired Scandinavian beauties (female) who were wearing barely-there shorts and bikini tops. That must have been a wildly excessive flight. Really wanted to break the plane that day . . . Varna is Candy Land during the summer.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I was on a wildly excessive flight once too. Billy Idol was there. And some weirdo wedding singer with a bad haircut walked into the coach section with a guitar and started singing to a passenger. It was pretty crazy.

  • ||

    Why, as long as you aren't on the plane, you and the plane can sit there seperately and stare at each other for hours on end and the airline suffers no penalties. Its only once they load you up and you get to stare forlornly out your 12x8 window at the world you could have once excaped into that they set the limit at 3 hours.

  • robc||

    Because letting the plane sit empty counts against your on time statistics. If you are sitting in line on the tarmac, you left on time.

  • ||

    and...your argument is?

  • robc||

    Lots of stupidity leading to the decision. If on time statistics were based on taking off, not leaving the gate, there would be much less sitting on the tarmac too.

  • ||

    And airlines tried to game the system. In the end though their goal will still be to move planes and people, else they lose money.

  • ||

    I don't know anyone who flies a particular airline because of their on-time statistics. Whether for personal or business travel, everyone I've ever come across says there are three things that determine their flights. Cost, departure/landing time, and whether or not they think so-and-so's service sucks (including crappy planes).

    Everyone knows on-time statistics are almost always due to weather and therefore not under the airlines' control and if one airline is canceling, they probably all are. So why worry about it?

  • robc||

    I fly SWA primarily due to cost, but 2nd for getting me their at approximately the time I expect. Ive had weather issues, but they arent late for non-weather reasons, and other airlines are, far too often.

  • robc||

    I really do know the difference between there and their, just not on the internet, apparently.

  • Fluffy||

    I would rather have my flight cancelled than be forced to sit on the plane on the tarmac for twelve hours.

    If that ever happened to me, it is very likely I would kill the flight staff and go to prison for the rest of my life.

    The obvious solution is to stop empowering the airlines to be kidnappers, and eliminate their ability to forcibly restrain and keep you on the plane if you are trapped on the ground for an excessive period of time. If the airlines are going to get to keep their little piece of the police power, then they shouldn't expect to get treated like market operators and should expect their application of the police power to be bounded by rules.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The obvious solution is to stop empowering the airlines to be kidnappers, and eliminate their ability to forcibly restrain and keep you on the plane if you are trapped on the ground for an excessive period of time. If the airlines are going to get to keep their little piece of the police power, then they shouldn't expect to get treated like market operators and should expect their application of the police power to be bounded by rules.


    Why do airlines have this power in the first place?

  • Paul||

    My guess is the TSA and terrorism will come into focus in the answer.

  • kinnath||

    This is nothing new, once you step on the boat, the captain has absolute authority over your ass.

  • Skid Marx||

    Not to self: Avoid cruise lines that advertize in both Out and The Advocate.

  • Paul||

    See my message above.

  • Paul||

    I think this is a real win for passengers.

    No, it's a win for passengers who would rather have a canceled flight than for those passengers who would rather suffer through a 3 hour and 10 minute delay rather than lose a possible 48 hours (or more) of a planned vacation which comes once a year-- if that.

    You do understand that the individual passengers on a plane are each on the plan with his own desires, needs and schedule that wasn't planned by a government bureaucrat, right?

  • kinnath||

    I got to sit in an airport bar for a couple hours on storming Friday afternoon in Dallas-Fort Worth. I was lucky in that my departing flight hadn't actually been cancelled. A nice lady who was on her fourth or fifth drink was explaining that she had been rebooked for Monday. Her bag was in the bowels of the airport, she didn't have any clothes in a carry-on, and didn't have the resources to put herself in a hotel for three nights.

    Cancellations have serious consequences.

  • ||

    No one is saying they don't but she obviously was not the best planner.

  • kinnath||

    My guess is the 90% of the people that travel once in a while on vacation have no idea how bad things can get when storms disruption the national airspace.

  • ||

    people do alot of things they're not prepared to improvise for (boating without a float plan, roadtrip without knowing how to change a tire, hiking without a first aid kit). their lack of preparedness is not my problem.

  • Paul||

    Or flying on a plane for your bi-annual 120 hour vacation (you work in the private sector) that gets 57 hours cut out because of a flight cancelation which normally would have merely delayed your checkin by 3.5 hours.

    No clothes in the carryon is the least of your worries. No clothes in the carrying is a minor inconvenience. Shelling out a couple of hundred dollars that were supposed to go to your rare and sparse vacation for a hotel room because Congress stuck its fucking nose into the delay procedures of an entire industry: priceless.

  • Jake||

    Kin,

    You left out at the top of that

    "Dear Penthouse,
    I never thought I'd be writing a letter like this..."

  • ||

    No, it's a win for passengers who would rather have a canceled flight than for those passengers who would rather suffer through a 3 hour and 10 minute delay rather than lose a possible 48 hours (or more) of a planned vacation which comes once a year-- if that.

    That's not accurate.

    This regulation doesn't affect all delays. Just the 3+ delays where the flight is loaded and people are stuck on the plane. Instead of canceling and pissing off their customers the airlines should not load the flight and be honest about their on time statistics.

  • kinnath||

    You make the assumption that the airline can actually determine just how bad things are going to be in one hour, or two hours, or three hours, or four hours.

    You also make the assumption that the airline has some control over the ground crews that clear the runways.

    You also assume that the airline has some control over air traffic control system that decides when it will or will not allow aircraft to arrive and/or depart in bad weather.

  • ||

    no, he's not making any of those assumptions. He's just saying airlines can't sit on the runway for hours at a time and "hope".

  • kinnath||

    You no nothing about airline operations then.

  • ||

    Educate us kinnath

  • kinnath||

    Your pilot has a duty limitation for any given day. His clock is driven by four events: push back from the gate; take off; landing; and arrival at the gate.

    He gets to make the current flight if he has enough clock left at the time of push back. Flights that get delayed may cause him to overrun his clock, but that is accepted under the current regulations.

    However, if he sits on the tarmac for 2 hours and then heads back, he now has to pass the clock limit test again. Even though he is allowed by the rules to complete the flight, if he goes back to the gate, he may not be legal to push back again. The airline most likely cancels the flight at that time because they don't have pilots sitting around doing nothing.

    This is one of hundreds if not thousands of gotchas that are built into the system.

  • kinnath||

    Or the national airspace.

  • ||

    The airlines aren't flying blind. They have weather info and flight traffic info and time estimates.

    I was recently on a flight that was delayed 6 hours at the airport because of weather. They didn't announce it, but if you asked the gate agents they had internal estimated "wheels up time" and that time was constantly changing based on weather conditions.

    In our case the wheels up time was slowly edging sooner and sooner (from 10PM to 9:45 to 9:30 -- meaning the odds of the flight getting out at some point were good) we would up departing at 9PM.

    They have a lot of info and do have estimates and cane make rational decisions (like in our case they didn't want to board the flight and make us wait on the plane)

  • Paul||

    That's not accurate.

    This regulation doesn't affect all delays. Just the 3+ delays where the flight is loaded and people are stuck on the plane.

    I didn't say it did. I specifically mentioned a 3 hour and ten minute delay. And clearly, you didn't see my alternative to this specific regulation above. That would be a win-win-win. Passengers wouldn't get fucked out of a possible multi-day vacation, passengers who don't want to get stuck on the plane don't have to, and the more-regulation-will-solve-all-of-our-ills crowd feels sated because we got new airline regulations.

  • ||

    I yield to very few in the 'more libertarian than thou' game. But I'm sorry, knowing that the market will bitchslap the airline, is insufficient disincentive to holding me prisoner for more than three hours. Maybe I'd be happier if the money went to the ones who suffered. But lawsuits do a better job of making lawyers fat more than compensating victims. And knowing a bureaucratic fine will be imposed works better at seeing the problem doesn't happen in the first place.

    This could be done better, but I'm happier with the rule.

  • ||

    Indeed, it sets a firm boundary of how long a pilot can sit on the tarmac waiting to take off before the kafkaesque game with the air traffic controllers must come to an end.

    Yes, the boarding/deboarding process eats up useable time and could possibly cause missed 15 minute windows, but if things are so bad that you're trying to shoot through that small a window, maybe it wasn't meant to be.

  • prolefeed||

    Yes, being stuck on a plane for three hours sucks. But, the penalties for grounding passengers is so wildly disproportionate to the offense that it obviously results in a counterproductive response.

    The intelligent approach would be to require airlines to allow passengers that want to, to disembark from an airplane that has been delayed for, say, 2 hours, and rebook them on another flight with any other carrier that is available. And then repeat each hour thereafter, until the flight either takes off or enough passengers have chosen to abandon the airplane that the flight has to be cancelled.

  • MH||

    If the flight is stuck on the tarmac, there is almost certainly no way to keep going back and forth to the gate as that would require. Sometimes an axe is the best tool, despite other damange.

  • Michael Ejercito||


    If the flight is stuck on the tarmac, there is almost certainly no way to keep going back and forth to the gate as that would require. Sometimes an axe is the best tool, despite other damange.


    Would it not be easier to use a shuttle bus to transport the passengers to the terminal.

    Of course, airlines should be free to debook any passengers that choose to get off early.

  • K-Y||

    There is the entire baggage problem. I've never been in the cargo hold of a jet liner, but I bet you don't just pop in there and grab the black bag.

  • ||

    No, once your bag goes in the plane, unless all the bags come out, yours doesn't. But assuming you always planned on going to your destination, your rebooked flight will eventually reunite you with your bag.

  • kinnath||

    I flew regularly for 15 years. The airlines bought me two new suitcases during that time.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    There is the entire baggage problem. I've never been in the cargo hold of a jet liner, but I bet you don't just pop in there and grab the black bag.


    They can choose to wait for hours to fly with their baggage or catch up with their baggage later.

  • Zeb||

    Don't they still have some of those stairway thingies to get people off of the plane?

  • MNG||

    "The intelligent approach would be to require airlines to allow passengers that want to, to disembark from an airplane that has been delayed for, say, 2 hours, and rebook them on another flight with any other carrier that is available."

    Hey, I agree this is a very good idea...

  • ||

    You know what else they could do? Something which might ACTUALLY HAVE AN EFFECT? And increase the FAAs operating budget?

    They could auction those takeoff and landing slots.

    A President who *loves* and *respects* the market would jump on a win-win like that, wouldn't he?

  • ||

    Shhhh! You'll spoil all the righteous indignation.

  • ||

    BTW, isn't there some kind of think tank that has a president who has done all sorts of research into this very problem? Buried deep, deep inside of his research is a solution to the problem, which the FAA won't implement because it's hide-bound bureaucracy, and not an organization that has to please its client base for repeat business.

  • Fluffy||

    Speaking of flights, where is the headline reading "Heroic Freedom Fighting Texan Pilot..." etc?

  • ||

    rather than cancelling all these flights and wreaking havoc on all their other flights

    What substantive difference is there?

    the airlines (all airlines) will be less likely to load up planes and taxi away from the gate

    They still have to clear that gate for the next arriving flight.

  • ||

    assuming most difficulties with mass delays are weather related...what arriving flight?

  • K-Y||

    Sometimes, your delay is caused by the weather in your destination city, so my flight from DFW to HOU, delayed due to low visibility in Houston cannot just sit in the terminal in Dallas as the weather in Houston should not affect an inbound flight from Tampa to DFW.

    I'm not justifying, just saying.

  • ||

    Airlines are savvy enough to juggle flights to gates that don't have airplanes sitting in them due to delays. The only situation where that could prove impossible is where everyone is grounded and if everyone is grounded, its usually due to weather IN THAT CITY.

  • ||

    What substantive difference is there?

    Canceling the flight means they have to put you on another flight with potential limited availability which increases your odds of having your rebook being tomorrow or the next day.

    If they instead delay the flight without pushing back from the gate they don't have to scramble to find available seats on other flights. That's a huge difference.

    They still have to clear that gate for the next arriving flight.

    Yes and they can move the plain and change gates. There is no requirement to put you on the plane and then move the plane away from the gate.

    This already happens. Flights are delayed and the arriving flight needs the gate so your departure gate changes assuming they haven't boarded already.

  • ||

    All of this will be solved by high speed trains until someone bombs a high speed train.

  • ||

    more than likely high speed train issues concern idiots and track crossings rather than terroristical imams.

  • ||

    Not if the train is equipped with laser cannons.

  • ||

    "If you were to try to bomb a train, sir, the... How shall I say it? The aura of royalty would cause you to miss. But, a plane... [chuckles] I mean, why not bomb a plane?"

  • Mad Elf||

    I've already solved the problem by driving everywhere. Traffic bad? Long delays? OK, I'll get off at the next exit and grab something to eat, get a cup of coffee, stretch my legs, maybe watch some TV if I'm at a sports bar.

  • MNG||

    "All of this will be solved by high speed trains"

    What a lack of imagination. Teleportation will make both of those mute.

  • ||

    And it is about as likely.

  • robc||

    Teleportation will make both of those mute.

    I was unaware trains or planes could talk.

  • prolefeed||

    Teleportation makes trains deaf?

    I believe "moot" is what you were going for ...

  • MJ||

    As long as you can deal with the fact that when teleporting, the orginal has to be destroyed.

  • ||

    All of this will be solved by (artificially intelligent) flying robocars.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • ||

    One hyphenated word...Skynet

  • ||

    ...that appears to be lacking said hyphen

  • ||

    The machine intelligences stole it for their own nefarious purposes.

  • ||

    what arriving flight?

    The "slot machine special" from Vegas.

  • kinnath||

    A flight begins the moment the aircraft releases the parking brake and pushes back from the gate. What the airline can or cannot do at that point is driven almost entirely by federal regulations.

    If your plane can't take off, you're screwed. The airline can't let you off to walk around and then reboard, because of security concerns (those pesky federal regulations).

    Even if the airline wanted to let you off, there won't be a gate available. Gates at busy airports do not sit open. As soon as your plane is gone, and a new one rolls up. Gates are valuable resources, and they are leased directly to the airlines and cannot be shared between them.

    The system is broken, and it's broken because of the same people that have decided to fine the airlines for adhering to the regulations that leave passengers (and pilot and flight attendants) trapped on the tarmac after push-back.

  • ||

    Gates at busy airports do not sit open.

    I'll build them a separate door for a low low price.

  • ||

    If your plane can't take off, you're screwed. The airline can't let you off to walk around and then reboard, because of security concerns (those pesky federal regulations).

    I won't pretend to know what the current regulations are, but anecdotally I've been released from a flight where the pilot gave up waiting to be released to take off. Granted, we had to find an empty gate, which was a challenge, but no federal agents came in to arrest the flight staff, so I'm guessing it wasn't an issue then (4 years ago).

    And I've seen many instances where one airline that didn't have any flights currently coming to a particular gate allowed an airplane from another company to deboard there temporarily.

  • kinnath||

    Where?

  • ||

    Albuquerque around christmas

  • kinnath||

    Albuquerque !?

    These weather crises occur at the major hubs. Chicago, Minnepolis, Detroit, New York, Dallas-Fort Worth and so one where they have parallel runways with arrivals and departures every 60 seconds all day long.

    On a good-weather day, there can be 10 to 20 aircraft lined up waiting to take off. If one aircraft has a mechanical failure, the airline can find a place to put it. But when the weather deteriorates, there is no place to let the passengers off.

  • ||

    If your plane can't take off, you're screwed. The airline can't let you off to walk around and then reboard, because of security concerns (those pesky federal regulations).

    I was addressing this statement. The practicality of moving planes around is difficult in certain situations, I grant you, but probably not 3+ hours difficult in any case.

  • ||

    I won't pretend to know what the current regulations are, but anecdotally I've been released from a flight where the pilot gave up waiting to be released to take off. Granted, we had to find an empty gate, which was a challenge, but no federal agents came in to arrest the flight staff, so I'm guessing it wasn't an issue then (4 years ago).

    This has happened to me as well on more than one occasion. The pilot/airline has some discretion as to whether or not they want to go back to the gate (assuming one is available).

    Many times they are reluctant if there are lots of delays because they will go to the end of the queue of planes waiting to take off.

  • ||

    Exactly as more than one pilot has come on the intercom and explained to us. The pilot is thus put in a difficult position if he has to make the call to return to the gate. This regulation in theory makes that decision easy for him. Yes, it could cause alot more cancellations, but every canceled flight is lost money to an airline, so I expect that to moderate any issues.

  • kinnath||

    Airline employess (including pilots) will tell stories to passengers to mollify them that may have little in common with the truth.

  • ||

    I imagine they might, but I don't see why you think that's important. The important thing is that they have disincentives to returning to the gate and this new law forces them to after 3 hours, which may cause all sorts of problems, but may force a change in regulation that removes the previous disincentive.

    My point is, if I'm not moving towards my destination after 3 hours of sitting on the plane, I WANT MY FUCKING OPTIONS BACK!

  • K-Y||

    A gate is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.

  • ||

    Calm down Blagojevich

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If your plane can't take off, you're screwed. The airline can't let you off to walk around and then reboard, because of security concerns (those pesky federal regulations).


    Once again, regulations are the problem.

    Even if the airline wanted to let you off, there won't be a gate available. Gates at busy airports do not sit open. As soon as your plane is gone, and a new one rolls up. Gates are valuable resources, and they are leased directly to the airlines and cannot be shared between them.


    Moveable stairways.

  • ||

    And, of course, should an airline violate the delay rules and be forced to pay the fine, the cash won't go the passengers.

    I would much rather see the airline compelled to refund 150% of the ticket price directly to the passenger.

    I also expect to be crowned Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun.

  • ||

  • ||

    But the passengers sleeping on the floor of the airport will enjoy the full realization of their "fundamental right to be treated with respect,"

    I don't see that one in my copy of the Constitution, either.

    Coming from an affiliate of the TSA, though, that is rich.

  • robc||

    Seems a simpler rule is necessary - something like "You cant leave the gate until you are xth in line", where x is some reasonable number that makes it unlikely you will have an unreasonable tarmac delay. You know, one that would be 15 minutes on a normal day.

  • ||

    Screw this, I'm buying a Cirrus.

  • ||

    I'm taking a boat when i finally move to Spain.

  • ||

    Sometime I think Reason just wishes all rules/regulations to be abolished because every single rule has unintended consequences.

    The reason you will have to pay for government fines is because a business passes them on. They do not have to do that. Causation analysis requires you to be intellectually honest and not "skip" the middleman in these cases. I'm sure business has to "pass on" the cost of not dumping hazardous waste. Should we complain about that too?

    Sometimes I wish I could come to a website and be suprised by what I read. Reason isn't that way. The assumptions of free market allow me to predict with confidence what I will read before I read it. But of course I've got my own bias. I just wish everyone realized that they had one so this naive realist view that predominates the web wouldn't continue to keep polarizing every single debate on anything.

    Logic is the best thing we have, but even rationality must throw up its hands in cases that can not be analogized to previous cases to a degree of certainty that will allow one to predict the outcome of an event. If it were, the hyper-rational vAR financial risk models would work. They are the most rational constructs you can devise. And they failed.

    The world would be a better place if more people thought more conditionally and were absolutely sure that they were right.

  • ||

    The world would be a better place if more people thought more conditionally and were absolutely sure that they were right.

    Thirsty

    sooooo

    thiiiirsteeeeeeee.

  • MJ||

    The airlines have been behaving in perverse ways (like 3 hr waits on the tarmac) so the answer is to pile a new punitive regulation on them. What new perversities will result from this?

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain wizard of oz books

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement