25 March 2010

Should US Airways Be Given Exemption At PHL?

Hoping to slide in the request for an exemption for their operations in the heavily congested north east USA, US Airways is hoping to be exempted from the upcoming performance based customer charter due to arrive next month.

So the question is should the airline (based in sunny Arizona) be excused the delay rules. Remember that several airlines including American Delta and Jetblue have requested exemptions for JFK and Continental has requested the same for EWR based on the current situation (one runway is out at JFK) and in general for the ATC congestion there.

The new DOT rule states that if domestic flights sit on the tarmac for more than three hours with passengers aboard, airlines face a fine of up to $27,500 per passenger. Thus airlines will be more likely to cancel a flight rather than paying heavy fines.

Note that at the present time the US DoT has not ruled on these requests. The new regs come into force next month.

In my opinion there is a case to be made for the current JFK situation until the runway resurfacing project is complete. But whether the others are eligible - that is a different matter.


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