Remember last summer's overnight tarmac stranding incident in Rochester, Minn.? The government does. This morning it issued what it called a "precedent-setting" series of fines against two airlines in connection with the lengthy ground delay.
Unlike some of my esteemed travel writing colleagues, I won't make the mistake of confusing a few tarmac delay activists with the entire passenger rights movement. Still, the August airline performance numbers, which have just been released by our friends at the Department of Transportation, merit a closer look.
This is an interesting twist. Remember the Continental/ExpressJet tarmac incident earlier this month? Everyone was quick to blame the airline for holding passengers overnight against their will. Now, a preliminary investigation by the Transportation Department has found that Mesaba, a regional carrier owned by Delta Air Lines, was the likely culprit.
More fallout from ExpressJet Airlines 2816 fiasco: The National Business Travel Association has thrown its weight behind a "turn back" rule for airlines, a remarkable reversal for an organization with a consistent pro-business and often pro-airline record.
The Transportation Department this morning a sent a letter to Continental Airlines inquiring into the circumstances of its recent Continental/Express Jet flight 2816 extended delay. So what's next? I asked Transportation Department spokesman Bill Mosley.
Oh no, they've done it again. Passengers on ExpressJet Airlines flight 2816 from Houston to Minneapolis spent the night trapped inside a small airplane parked at the Rochester, Minn., airport, "complete with crying babies and the aroma of over-used toilets," according to reports.