Lengthy tarmac delays are rare, according to the Chicago Tribune, with just 12 delays in October lasting three hours or more -- out of 531,799 scheduled flights that month. Airlines already do their best to avoid such delays, making the Transportation Department's new rule both unnecessary and counter-productive, the Tribune argues. "It's likely to backfire, leading airlines to pre-emptively cancel flights rather than risk the exorbitant penalties," according to the paper. "Result: more inconvenience for more passengers."

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