As Congress considers legislation that would allow passengers to get off planes experiencing lengthy delays, a newspaper analysis of federal transportation data shows that "long delays are rare." Between October 2008 and May 2009, just 1.35 flights per every 10,000 had delays of three hours or more. The Air Transport Association says a federal standard limiting tarmac delays would have "numerous unintended consequences that ultimately will create inconveniences for passengers and lead to more flight cancellations." Airport operations also would be affected, including gate availability and security concerns.
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