Threat of fines under DOT's 3-hour rule could prompt airline changes

03/9/2010 | MSNBC · Google

Government statistics show that the number of flights in 2009 experiencing tarmac delays of three hours or more was comparatively small -- just 0.014% -- but columnist Rob Lovitt says the new DOT rule set to take effect later next month will affect millions of travelers. "If there's a fine out there and the airlines are in doubt about what's going to happen, they'll become exceedingly cautious," says industry consultant Darryl Jenkins. "We'll probably see an enormous number of cancellations." At least one carrier has indicated that it plans to cancel flights rather than risk violating the new DOT rule.

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