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Hawaiian Airlines best for tarmac delays

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
August 31, 2009 4:25 pm

New figures from the federal Bureau of Transporation Statistics showed Hawaiian Airlines fared the best for multi-hour tarmac delays in June.

The Honolulu-based carrier suffered no delays over two hours during that month, the latest for which the BTS has gathered figures.

Second best was SeaTac’s Alaska Airlines with just two delays between two and three hours.

Airlines with extensive operations at East Coast airports had the worst record. United Airlines had 116 of its flights delayed on the ground more than two hours with six flights with ground delays between four and five hours.

Delta Air Lines had 117 of its flights stuck on the ground awaiting takeoff for more than 120 minutes, and US Airways experienced 118 such delays in June.

Airlines are under increasing pressure to take measures to return passengers to the terminal when takeoffs are delayed.

A Continental Express commuter jet recently sat on the ground overnight in Rochester, Minn. for six hours before passengers were allowed into a terminal.

The flight, connecting Houston to Minneapolis, had already flown for more than two hours when it was diverted to Rochester because of weather.

The tarmac wait has passenger advocates calling for federal legislation limiting such passenger captive situations.

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