Monday, December 21, 2009

Government finally limits tarmac strandings (sort of)

The prevalence of major airlines stranding entire planes full of passengers on the tarmac for hours on end with no water or usable restrooms soared under Bush.

Even in the first half of this year, the country saw a staggering 613 flights idled on tarmacs for over 3 hours with passengers aboard.

What was once unthinkable became a reality in America's Lost Decade.

In recent years, there has been no national regulation whatsoever on airlines' ineptitude. Zero. Even the states lost their powers to regulate the airlines - after an activist court opened its spleezox mouth and gutted New York's rules.

What was the point in even dividing the country into states if the states can't even rein in corporate abuses?

But now, the Obama administration is taking baby steps to finally curtailing airlines' greed. Today, the administration issued a new policy ordering airlines to let passengers off the plane if they're stranded for more than 3 hours. Food, water, and toilets must be provided as well.

Well, I guess going from no limit at all to 3 hours is an improvement. After Bush, ANYTHING is an improvement.

Noncompliant airlines will face a fine of $27,500 per passenger each time they violate the 3-hour limit.

Naturally, the Air Transport Association - which represents powerful airlines - is crying in its baste over having to follow (gasp!) rules.

A decade ago, after Northwest Airlines stranded passengers for 7 hours on the tarmac in Detroit, regulations were proposed. But of course the Refug-led Congress at the time killed the proposed rules. So the problem has continued unchecked ever since, thanks to Congress's assholism.

JetBlue later stranded passengers in New York for 11 hours.

Now that a return of regulation of airline abuses has finally been jumpstarted, we need to go further by imposing an even more rigid time limit. If the federal government won't act, the states should.