Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The FAA and those 10-hour plane waits

The well-publicized 8 or 10 hour long waits in an airplane are explained by the WSJ:
The FAA's air-traffic-control system can penalize flights that go back to a gate, even for a temporary bathroom break. Air-traffic controllers generally take flights first-come, first-serve, unless the airline can badger officials into giving a flight higher priority, or trade places in line with another of its own flights.

Indeed, last month a JetBlue flight ended up on the ground for eight hours at JFK because it returned to the gate and then was required to file a new flight plan, the FAA says.

The bigger the bureaucracy, the stranger the rules.

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