Comfort During Extended Delays
We Will Ensure Your Comfort During a Lengthy Tarmac Delay
We are committed to providing the best possible customer service during mechanical, weather or Air Traffic Control (ATC) delays. Delays on the ground with passengers onboard are possible, although rare.
We are committed to the following contingency measures to minimize your inconvenience:
- We will keep you updated about the estimated arrival or departure of your flight. We will give updates beginning 30 minutes after your scheduled departure time (including any revised departure time about which you were notified prior to boarding) and at least every 30 minutes or as your flight status changes, whichever comes first.
- On Domestic flights, we will not permit our aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than 3 hours without providing our customers an opportunity to deplane (if an opportunity exists), subject to safety, security, or ATC-related reasons why deplaning cannot be offered.
- On International flights (that depart or arrive at a U.S. airport), we will not permit our aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than 4 hours without providing our customers an opportunity to deplane (if an opportunity exists), subject to safety, security, or ATC-related reasons why deplaning cannot be offered.
- In the event we are unable to deplane you due to safety, security, or ATC reasons, we will let you know. If you choose to deplane the aircraft, we are unable to guarantee re-accommodation on your original flight. If you decide to leave the gate area, be sure to check Flight Information Display Monitors frequently in case there are any changes to your flight status. ATC hold times can change significantly and a window of opportunity may open, so sometimes it makes sense to board the aircraft even though the anticipated delay may be an hour or more.
- Once onboard, if your flight is held on the ground (away from the terminal or with the boarding door closed) in excess of two hours, we will maintain a comfortable cabin temperature, and provide access to food, water and onboard lavatories, subject to safety, security, and ATC-related reasons. In the event we are unable to provide food, water, or access to lavatories for safety, security, or ATC reasons, we will let you know.
- If emergency treatment becomes necessary, our flight crew has immediate access to medical professionals, via MedLink, a contracted medical advisory service. Our Flight Attendants are carefully trained in First Aid, including the use of defibrillators, which are available on all of our aircraft.
- We will have sufficient resources to implement our tarmac delay contingency program, and have coordinated our program with airport authorities, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration at all airports we serve, including diversion airports. We will coordinate with airport officials and other airlines to share facilities, equipment, and gates, allowing our customers to safely deplane to a terminal or other facility following a lengthy tarmac delay.