The safety and comfort of our customers is our #1 objective at Metro Airlink. With that in mind, Metro Airlink works hard to avoid extended tarmac delay situations. However, should these unexpected situations arise, Metro Airlink has developed and maintains a plan to resolve the delay as quickly as possible, as well as working to mitigate the impact and inconvenience to our customers. Metro Airlink’ Flight Operations Control center is responsible for the execution of this plan, while keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of our passengers. Our plan ensures that we will have adequate resources available to administer the plan.
At each airport where we fly (including diversion airports), our contingency plan for lengthy tarmac delays has been made available and coordinated with airport authorities, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Should the need arise; we will work with airport authorities and other airlines to share and/or acquire the necessary equipment (including gates) to allow for passenger deplaning.
DOT Regulations require any domestic flight to return to a gate and/or afford passengers the opportunity to deplane at a safe, remote location if a flight has been away from its departure gate for more than three (3) hours (4 hours for international flights). This may result in situations where a flight's departure may be imminent but is forced to return to a gate or remote location to comply with Federal regulations. There are two exceptions, which allow an aircraft to remain off the gate beyond three hours.
As established in our contingency plan, during an extended tarmac delay situation, Metro Airlink will ensure that:
Metro Airlink will ensure that passengers on board a flight experiencing an extended tarmac delay are notified as to the status of the delay every 30 minutes; including, when possible, the reason for the delay and the expected departure (wheels-up) time for the flight.
Metro Airlink will ensure that passengers on a delayed flight will be notified, beginning 30 minutes after scheduled departure time (including any revised departure time that passengers were notified of prior to boarding) and every 30 minutes thereafter that the opportunity to deplane from an aircraft that is at the gate exists; or if located at another approved disembarkation point with the door open, when the opportunity to deplane actually exists.
We'd also like our customers to be aware of certain customer service provisions during a flight experiencing an extended tarmac delay.