Waiting ... and waiting: Four planes left on tarmac for hours despite regulations 

WHAT HAPPENED: Despite new regulations to limit the amount of time passengers sit in planes on runways, four planes were idle for more than three hours on tarmacs in April. That matches the same number that were stuck a year ago, when the rule went into effect.

WHO IS VIOLATING: Delta was the culprit in three of the four incidents, which occurred on the same day — April 27. The other was a United flight from New York to San Francisco. Weather contributed to the delays.

WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: The rule has been violated 20 times in the last year by U.S. airlines, but no fines have been levied. The Department of Transportation had threatened fines of up to $27,500 per passenger stranded three or more hours. For example, a full Boeing 737 would be slammed with a $3.5 million fine. The country’s 16 largest airlines reported an on-time rate of 75.5 percent in April, a big drop from 85.5 percent the same time last year. The mark was 79.2 percent for March.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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