Know your passenger rights

You and your kids should no longer be stuck on a tarmac for hours on end — thanks to brand new government regulations. The new Department of Transportation rules that have just gone into effect mandate that passengers on domestic flights be allowed to get off a plane after three hours on the tarmac (assuming doing so won’t create a safety issue or interfere with airport operations, msnbc reports).  Airlines will want to comply since fines can be as much as $27,500 a passenger–as much as $3 million for a 737, MSNBC says.

More than 900 planes with passengers onboard were stuck on the ground for three hours or more last year. In some cases, there was no food, drinks nor adequate toilet facilities.

Be prepared that airlines now may institute more “preemptive” cancellations — as they did during last February’s storms to prevent planes from being stuck on snow laden tarmacs. Check www.flyerrights.org 

The good news is that you shouldn’t be stuck on a plane for hours without enough diapers or food for your toddler.  But what this will mean in the long term is anyone’s guess.

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