A fight amongst passengers starts on delayed Delta flight in New York
Photo: Photo:�Port Authority PBA
Photo: Photo:�Port Authority PBA

DOT: Multiple Delta flights stuck on tarmac for hours in August

Delta Air Lines had the worst tarmac delays in the month of August, according to federal data.

Atlanta-based Delta had dozens of tarmac delays longer than three hours in the month of August, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report released Tuesday.

One of the delays made news in August when passengers on board began fighting.

The three longest domestic tarmac delays on U.S. airlines were all around 3 ½ hours long on Delta, according to the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

That includes two Delta flights stuck on the ground at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and an Atlanta-bound flight on Delta regional subsidiary Endeavor Air that got stuck on the ground at the White Plains, N.Y. airport.

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.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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