The Friendly Skies

American Airlines Wants Pass on Tarmac Rule

Make sure to charge your iPod before traveling: American Airlines has filed for a temporary exemption from the new federal rule limiting the time passengers can be made to wait on the tarmac. The airline says the closure of the main runway at New York’s JFK airport would cause delays, thus costing millions in fines. JetBlue and Delta airlines have also asked for exemptions for the same reason. The rule, which takes effect in April, means airlines would incur up to $27,500 per passenger in fines if a plane sits on the tarmac for more than three hours. That could mean almost $4 million for a single Boeing 737, and $8.9 million for a Boeing 777. American Airlines warned that the inevitable traffic jams will cause them to cancel flights rather than rack up huge fines.