A federal tarmac delay rule prohibits tarmac delays longer than three hours for domestic flights and longer than four hours for international flights without beginning to move the aircraft so passengers have a chance get off the plane. It’s customary for the DOT to investigate tarmac delays that exceed the federal limit of three hours.
Delta has been fined in the past for tarmac delays.
United, Spirit, JetBlue, Alaska, American and Southwest all also had tarmac delays longer than three hours in August. But the majority of the tarmac delays were on Delta or Delta subsidiary Endeavor.
Many of the lengthy tarmac delays were at JFK, where Delta has a hub, including an Atlanta-bound Delta flight stuck on the ground for just over three hours on Aug. 19.