With the FAA set to begin stiff new fines for lengthy tarmac delays, airlines say they will simply cancel flights earlier to avoid financial penalties. Experts say the 34,000-plus flights canceled last month due to severe weather may be a sign of what's to come. "It's hard to predict right now how significant it's going to be, but I don't think there is any question we'll see significantly more flights canceled because no one wants to subject their company to those fines," says James May, president of the Air Transport Association, which lobbied against the three-hour rule. Both airlines and airports agree it will take time to adjust to the new rule. But James Crites, executive vice president at Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport, says eventually the right balance will be struck: "The industry is very adaptable. We will find a way to make it work."

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