Reacting to nightmare stories of passengers trapped on planes with no food, no water and overflowing toilets, the U.S. Transportation Department told airlines Monday they will soon have to allow passengers on domestic flights to get off if their planes are stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours.
Violations will bring a fine of $27,500 per passenger, the department said.
The new federal rules, which take effect in 120 days, will also require that airlines provide food and water for passengers within two hours of a plane being delayed on a tarmac and to maintain working restrooms.
The airline industry said, without enthusiasm, that it would comply with the new rules. It said one unintended consequence could be more canceled flights.
"The requirement of having planes return to the gates within a three-hour window or face significant fines is inconsistent with our goal of completing as many flights as possible. Lengthy tarmac delays benefit no one," Air Transport Association chief James May said in a statement.
Shorter: What?! Food? Water? Toilets? For fucking passengers? Who the hell are they? Damn those Liberals!