Last week's weather-related cancellations of some 15,000 flights show airlines are shifting their policies to avoid stiff penalties for tarmac delays, according to some industry watchers. Under a Transportation Department rule that goes into effect April 29, airlines could have been fined $27,500 for every passenger stranded on the tarmac for more than three hours by the huge winter storm. Experts say the rule has led to an increase in cancellations. "You're not going to get penalized for tarmac delays if you don't fly the flight," says Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor John Hansman.
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