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Sun Country say it will cap runway delays to four hours

What’s a company to do when its actions help feed a firestorm of support for tougher regulation of its industry? Announce a new voluntary regulation and hope that Congress thinks the problem is solved!

Two days after Sun Country passengers sat on a tarmac in New York for nearly six hours, the airline announced it’s voluntarily implementing a new four-hour limit on how long it will leave people cooped up on the runway. After that, passengers would be allowed off the plane.

That still seems like a miserably long time, but Sun Country CEO Stan Gadek tells the Star Tribune shorter limits might lead to more delays because of constant boarding and unboarding. Many factors are beyond the airlines’ control, such as weather and airport congestion.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been advocating for a three-hour limit as part of an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights. She said she appreciates Sun Country’s willingness to take responsibility for what happened on the flight, but she will continue to push for the passenger legislation.

Related: Feds blame Mesaba Airlines for Rochester tarmac mess

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by John Olson on 08/24/2009 - 02:10 pm.

    Here’s a thought: Sun Country’s Executive Committee should experience this first-hand. Put them on one of their planes with the remainder of the seats full of everyday slobs like us and make ’em sit in a holding area off the taxiway for four hours with little food, overflowing toilets, screaming kids, etc.

    Let’s see what the company policy will be after that!

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