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New U.S./DOT regulations designed to protect commercial airline passengers

New airline passenger protections go into effect Thursday.

You’ve heard passengers’ horror stories about sitting for hours in a parked metal tube with crying babies, clogged toilets and rationed snacks.

The Department of Transportation hopes they will become faded memories for air travelers after new, more aggressive passenger protection rules go into effect Thursday.

The DOT’s tarmac delay rule subjects airlines to stiff fines if passengers are stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours. It was prompted by a string of long delays dating back to December 2006, which DOT documents say caused passengers “undue discomfort and inconvenience.”

The tipping point for DOT Secretary Ray LaHood came in August 2009, when 47 airline passengers were trapped overnight on a tarmac in Rochester, Minnesota.

Passengers reported subsisting on rationed Pringles potato chips and said the toilet stopped working.

“There was no common sense used, no decency towards people that were sitting on a plane,” LaHood said Tuesday at a news conference.

The tarmac delay rule has been widely discussed and debated since it was announced in December, but it is only one of a series of new DOT regulations designed to protect commercial airline passengers.

Here are a few more details travelers should know:…READ MORE HERE

3 Responses to New U.S./DOT regulations designed to protect commercial airline passengers

  1. Daryl Halle

    May 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm

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