The Department of Transportation in the United States is currently reviewing a motion filed by two airline industry associations which are requesting a moratorium on a rule first imposed in 2009 pertaining to protecting passengers from being confined in an airplane on the tarmac for greater than three hours during a delay.
The request — received on April 19 from Airlines for America and the Regional Airline Association — references as the main reason the furloughs of air traffic controllers and other government employees ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration, which has increased delays at airports throughout the United States.
The rule in question prohibits airlines based in the United States operating domestic flights from permitting an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers, with exceptions allowed only for safety or security or if air traffic control advises the pilot in command that returning to the terminal would disrupt airport operations. Furthermore, those airlines are required to provide adequate food and potable drinking water for passengers within two hours of the aircraft being delayed on the tarmac and to maintain operable lavatories and, if necessary, provide medical attention…
…and now the airlines want a moratorium on this rule designed specifically to protect you?
This is the latest salvo against you — the airline passenger — in what has become a puerile propensity of perpetually pushing and perpetrating political plans, punishing and penalizing pawns like puppets in the process.
I can understand the position of the airlines: why should the federal government of the United States impose a fine upon them for something that is not within their control and in fact is because of said federal government?…
…but what does that have to do with you? This situation is not your fault. Why should you be forced to suffer?!?
Think about it: the airlines — for the most part — are already chipping away at your benefits and your comfort while charging you more money. Now they want to take away your rights as a consumer as well?
The airlines have supposedly already requested exemptions from this rule in the past — but with no success. The president of the Air Travelers Association in 2010 attempted to argue that the rule would only strand more passengers — but the number of airplanes delayed on the tarmac for greater than three hours dropped from 268 in 2009 to only three as of August of 2010, even though the rule may have increased flight cancellations.
Refuse to be a pawn. Fight back. Ensure that your voice is heard. You have until April 26, 2013 to comment on this request to the federal government of the United States.