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The new tarmac rule of airline passengers goes into affect from today. The rule is – the airlines will be fined up to $27,500 per passenger for tarmac delays that exceed 3 hours. The rule does not apply to international airlines.

There are two exceptions –

  1. A pilot doesn’t have to deplane passengers if he determines there’s a safety or security issue.
  2. If air traffic control tells him that deplaning would disrupt the airport.

So, if you don’t have a gate available at the airport, then no fines, since passengers can’t walk on the tarmac.

So, should we rejoice? I say no! There is no reason for us to rejoice at all. My reasons –

  • Airlines will tend to cancel flights that might look like taking too much delays. This means that they will have to rebook all the passengers on other flights and if you are not high up on their frequent flier program, you can be stuck for a long time.
  • Some delays are genuine and understandable (like snow in Dallas, which results in a long wait time for deicing) and return to the gate will result in even worse delays.
  • If there are no gates available for the airline, then forget deplaning!
  • The passenger doesn’t see any part of the fine or does he/she?

Delay at the tarmac is just one fix to the whole line of problems. Before it, the government should have looked at the following –

  • Improving the air-congestion in areas like New York.
  • Imposing a rule that each terminal at the airport should have spare gate (s) to be used when all are occupied.
  • Airlines should not be allowed to overbook flights
  • Improve the tarmac congestion by better management of traffic – in and out.
  • Improve airport constructions to improve traffic – in and out. Example – Philadelphia’s parallel runways obstruct both in and off traffic.
  • Make airlines to post better departure times or arrival times.
  • Fine for missed bags

What do you guys think?

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United Airlines pilot, Erwin Washington, (51 years old from Lakewood, Colorado) was charged and arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport as he was about to fly a a Boeing 767 with 124 passengers and 11 crew to Chicago.

From Mizozo.com

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “At 12.30pm on 9 November we attended a flight at Heathrow Airport and arrested a 51-year-old man.

“He was arrested on suspicion of being aviation staff performing an aviation function while exceeding the prescribed alcohol limit.”

Police are awaiting the outcome of further tests on the man.

“He was reported to police by United Airlines staff, said a BAA Heathrow spokesman.

A United Airlines spokeswoman said: “Safety is our highest priority and the pilot has been removed from service while we are cooperating with authorities and conducting a full investigation.

“United Airlines’ alcohol policy is amongst the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation of this well-established policy.”

Pilots legal limit is 0.02 percent and that is equivalent to half a glass of beer. Erwin Vermont Washington, 51, is the third U.S. pilot in 13 months to be arrested for being over the strict alcohol limits imposed on airline staff.

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A mysterious ice chunk fell on a Chicago home around 7:52pm. The house happens to be in the flight plan for one of O’Hare’s runway. So, the obvious culprit – a leaking plane? There are other possible theories like meteorite, alien space ship, etc. but obviously a leaking plane makes the most sense.

My first question – did the ice come from the lavatory wastes? Since it doesn’t have the blue color, I would assume no!

From Mizozo.com

“The whole house shook,” she said outside the North Wolcott Avenue home, while her son held up baseball-size ice chunks in a plastic bag. The falling object caved in the corner of their 5-year-old roof dormer and showered ice through their front yard as they watched TV a few feet away. “I thought the chimney fell. My husband thought maybe the ‘L’ fell off the tracks.”

FAA is looking into it.

What do you guys think?

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A Best Buy executive, Armando Alvarez,  was denied first class upgrade at Washington DC’s Dulles Airport because he was too casually dressed for it. He was wearing a track suit.

From Mizozo.com

Best Buy’s corporate vice president Armando Alvarez was flying from Washington DC Dulles Airport to Connecticut on a October 26th 2009 on a United Airlines flight, when he was denied an upgrade request because he was wearing a track suit. He was using his miles to get the upgrade.
When he arrived at the gate and walked up to the counter, the agent told him he couldn’t fly first class because he was dressed too casually. He was wearing a tracksuit. And let’s be clear here: It was a Puma track suit. He says he packs his suits so they don’t get wrinkled during the flight.

Alvarez says he isn’t looking for compensation, but wants to call out United for his embarrassment.

“If this happened to me and I’m a United Airlines Red Carpet Club member then I believe it’s happening to other people and this must stop,” Alvarez said on Fox.

A day after the story made national headlines, a United Airlines spokesperson returned repeated calls from FOX 5. A spokesperson says they’ve identified the gate agent and he is a contract employee who works for Air Wisconsin.

The spokesperson says the employee was interviewed and security footage from the terminal is being reviewed as officials for both airlines investigate the incident.

United says there is no passenger dress code, but they cited two rules. Ticketed passengers can not be barefoot and must be clothed.

Aren’t airlines already losing enough money to get bad rep? Maybe next time I will have to wear a suit and tie while flying to Hawaii?

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Three weeks back Keith Wilson King, 61,was noticed by an officer picking up a random bag at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport. He was given a citation but then he returned back. He was arrested and a search at his home found 1000+ bags with identification tags, the owners’ names erased from the bag.

From mizozo.com

Keith Wilson and his wife, Stacy Lynne Legg-King, 38, were arrested Monday, and each was booked into jail on charges of theft of property and possession of stolen property.

From www.azcentral.com

Detectives uncovered nearly 1,000 pieces of stolen luggage Tuesday while serving a search warrant at a home in the northwest Valley, linking the items to Keith King, who’s accused of plucking the bags off airport

baggage carousels. Police officers arrested King three weeks ago at the airport after an officer noticed him grabbing a random bag off one of the carousels. He was given a misdemeanor-theft citation and released, though police said he returned to the airport days later.

King, 61, was shown on a surveillance video parking in an airport garage and walking to the baggage-claim area to steal luggage, said Officer James Holmes, a Phoenix police spokesman.

King and his wife, Stacy Legg King, 38, were arrested Monday at their home near Northern and 175th avenues. They were booked on suspicion of theft and possession of stolen property – leaving detectives to try and track the missing items, which could include electronics and clothes, among other things.

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We all miss flights, some of them are very important and make us very angry. I think for those who have missed those important flights, this might be a video worth watching :).

Some facts – The video seems to be at some gate in the Hong Kong Airport. The language does not matter 🙂

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