Dec.29, 2006 - June 13, 2007
Kate Hanni, Executive Director
Coalition for an Airline Passengers Bill of Rights
159 Silverado Springs Drive, Napa, CA 94558
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This report card is based on a combination of press reports, government statistics and eye
witness accounts provided by our coalition members. Because airlines do not report and the US
Department of Transportation (DOT) does not collect most data on strandings resulting from cancellations
and diversions, this report is necessarily incomplete, albeit based on the best available information.
At present, flaws in government statistics include the following:
The government misleadingly counts cancelled flights – those with tarmac delays -- as
having zero delay;
does not include diversions in most delay statistics;
does not collect data on extended-on-the-tarmac confinements in diversion and cancellation
does not report abandonment of passengers for diverted flights, where planes leave passengers
to fend for themselves in Cheyenne or Scotts Bluff, Wyoming;
and ignores the observations and experiences of the people who actually fly.
For example, according to the most recent government data, only 36 planes were held on the tarmac for
5 hours or more in 2006.
Data include only extended taxi-outs: That number only includes extended taxi-outs of planes
holding on the tarmac at their initial airports that eventually took off.
No cancellations: Those DOT data calculations do not include events such as the Valentine’s
Day 2007 Jet Blue events at JFK, where 10 planes were held more than 4 hours, then cancelled.
No Diversions: Those DOT data do not include the 101 American Airlines and American Eagle
planes from California that were diverted to Austin and other points, then sat on the tarmac for at
least 4 hours on December 29th, 2007.
So, while the DOT reports t