DOT denies exemption to 3-hour tarmac rule

The Department of Transportation said yesterday that it will not exempt carriers from a new rule requiring them to allow travelers to leave the airplane if a tarmac delay exceeds three hours. Five carriers had requested temporary exemptions from the rule at specific airports. The rule goes into effect next week. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement: "Passengers on flights delayed on the tarmac have a right to know they will not be held aboard a plane indefinitely. This is an important consumer protection, and we believe it should take effect as planned."

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