"The requirement of having planes return to the gates within a three-hour window or face significant fines is inconsistent with our goal of completing as many flights as possible. Lengthy tarmac delays benefit no one."
Air Transport Association chief
Just in time for the holiday travel season and a round of record setting blizzards, the Obama administration announced the airlines will be fined for keeping passengers sitting on airport tarmacs for more than three hours. The airlines say they will comply with the rules...but they are not happy.
Apparently, it conflicts with their goal of completing as many flights as possible. Evidently, passenger comfort and reassurance are not high on the list of goals. If you've ever been stuck on the tarmac for extended periods of time, you will cheer this decision.
Once I flew back to the Twin Cities from Washington DC, after being stuck on the Dulles Airport tarmac for a couple hours. Once airborne, the plane intercom announced that the toilet was inoperable and could not be used. A few minutes later, the same intercom announced that complimentary drinks would be served. I almost peed my pants...and it wasn't from laughing.