Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is your flight canceled? Dont know why? Check it out...

Last fall the Department of Transportation in response to legitimate complaints of airlines stranding passengers on tarmacs for extended periods of time, issued new rules and fines for offending arilines.  The unintended consequences may be a marked increase in the number of flight cancellations .  The new rules take effect on April 29, 2010.  Instead of risking heavy fines (up to $27,000 per passenger) airlines many simply cancel flights because to do so is less expensive than the fines.
The government announced in December it would fine airlines $27,500 per passenger for long tarmac delays - or $2.75 million for a 100-passenger flight...Cancellations cost far less than a huge fine, especially since seats are routinely prepaid and airlines save fuel cost.
I dont fly that often and have never experienced a long delay (nothing more than 1 hour, I believe) and I am sure I would be highly annoyed by a  3+ hour delay.  However, if airlines, as to individuals,  respond to incentives it seems like they will cancel flights if there is an indication that a lengthy delay is in the works. 
What do you think?  Are the fines a deterrent to prevent delays or an incentive to cancel flights? Which is worse for the traveling public?  I am unsure on this one...

(HT: Carpe Diem)
View My Stats