Consumer News

Airlines trying to tame tarmac troubles

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Attention passengers no more getting stuck on the tarmac. Ahead of government rules that go into effect on April 29th, at least two carriers are now letting you off to wait out delays in the airport. But beware, there could be a downside.

U.S. Airways and Continental, are sending flights back to the gate to avoid being on the runway for more than three hours.

U.S. Airways is sending flights back after two and a half hours, unless takeoff is imminent. It says it'll also offer beverages and snacks after 90 minutes and announce updates every 15 minutes.

The downside is the airline says it expects more cancellations. Crews who return to the gate run up against federal rules limiting how long they can fly.

Passenger-rights advocates have said airlines could avoid most delays if they scheduled fewer flights at congested airports.

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