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November 1, 2011

Jet Blue Investigation: Aviation lawyer comments on seven-hour Tarmac delay

On Saturday, October 29, 2011, area storms caused JetBlue to divert numerous flights, several of which ended up at Connecticut's Bradley International Airport. One flight carrying 123 passengers reportedly sat stranded on the tarmac at Bradley for more than seven hours without adequate food, water or functional bathrooms before passengers were allowed to deplane. The flight was bound for New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

According to rules put in place in April 2010, tarmac delays at U.S. airports should be limited  to three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights with rare exceptions being made for safety, security or airport operations purposes.

"Most airlines have interline agreements where they will get serviced from another airline. In the case of JetBlue, because they have a limited number of airports, it's sometimes hard to get others to service their carrier, their planes and their passengers," said Motley Rice aviation lawyer and former Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo in an interview on CNN about the nature of the incident.

See Mary's CNN interview on the JetBlue tarmac delay.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is conducting an investigation into the incident. Although JetBlue reimbursed passengers for their airfare and issued an apology, it faces fines of approximately $27,000 per passenger if charged with breaking the tarmac delay rule.

Read more about the JetBlue tarmac delay in Los Angeles Times.

Read more about how Motley Rice aviation lawyers work to protect passengers and the safety and security of the traveling public.