The Transportation Department reports only one commercial airline flight remained on the tarmac for more than three hours in August, down from 66 delays of three hours or longer in the same month last year. Overall flight cancellations were unchanged for the month, though some experts say system-wide cancellations are not the best way to judge the impact of the three-hour rule. "There's been a significant statistical uptick in cancellations for aircraft that have been out on the field for two hours, two hours and 15 minutes, get called back to the gate and then get canceled," said airline consultant Josh Marks.

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