United Airlines Lengthy Tarmac Delay Plan
Effective May 14, 2012
We are dedicated to providing a level of service to our customers that makes us a leader in the airline industry and are committed to operating a reliable schedule. Safety considerations, weather, air traffic control, operations and other factors may occasionally cause lengthy tarmac delays. In compliance with Our United Customer Commitment and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, we have planned and prepared to manage and minimize lengthy tarmac delays on United-operated flights. United’s goal is to make every flight a safe and pleasant experience for our customers.
Consistent with DOT regulations, United’s Lengthy Tarmac Delay Plan (Plan) covers all scheduled and public charter flights operated by United Airlines.
United’s Assurances to Customers:
- For domestic U.S. flights covered by this Plan, United will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours before allowing passengers to deplane unless: either the pilot-in-command determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason (e.g., weather or a directive from an appropriate government agency) that the aircraft cannot leave its position on the tarmac to deplane passengers; or air traffic control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to the gate or another disembarkation point in order to deplane passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.
- For international flights covered by this Plan that depart from or arrive at a U.S. airport, United will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac at a U.S. airport for more than four hours before allowing passengers to deplane unless: either the pilot-in-command determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason (e.g., weather or a directive from an appropriate government agency) that the aircraft cannot leave its position on the tarmac to deplane passengers; or air traffic control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to the gate or another disembarkation point in order to deplane passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.
- For all flights covered by this Plan, United will provide adequate food and drinking water no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of departure) or touches down (in the case of arrival) if the aircraft remains on the tarmac, unless the pilot-in-command determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service.
- For all flights covered by this Plan, United will provide operable lavatory facilities, maintain comfortable cabin temperatures, and ensure adequate medical attention if needed while the aircraft remains on the tarmac.
- For all flights covered by this Plan, United will ensure that passengers on the delayed flight receive notification regarding the status of the delay every 30 minutes while the aircraft is delayed, including the reasons for the tarmac delay, if known.
- For all flights covered by this Plan, United will ensure that passengers on the delayed flight receive notification beginning 30 minutes after departure time (including any revised departure time that passengers were notified about before boarding) and every 30 minutes thereafter that they have the opportunity to deplane from an aircraft that is at the gate or another disembarkation area with the door open if the opportunity to deplane actually exists.
- United has sufficient resources to implement this Plan.
- United has coordinated this Plan with airport authorities (including terminal facility operators where applicable) at each U.S. airport that we serve, including regular U.S. diversion airports.
- United has coordinated this Plan with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at each airport that we regularly use for international flights, including diversion airports, and with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at each U.S. airport that we serve, including regular U.S. diversion airports.
Note: Consistent with United’s Contract of Carriage, the tarmac delay contingency plan of the operating carrier governs when it is operating a flight on which the United (UA) code is displayed
We would like our customers to be aware of the following information regarding certain customer service provisions during a lengthy tarmac delayed flight.
- If needed, deplaning of customers may occur when it is safe and secure to do so at either a terminal gate or at a designated aircraft parking position on airport grounds via stairs and ground transportation.
- All customers who want to deplane from a flight that has experienced a lengthy tarmac delay and make alternative travel arrangements consistent with airline ticketing policies may do so when it is determined to be safe and secure, after the aircraft has been moved into position for deplaning, all operational requirements for deplaning have been completed, and the pilot-in-command has allowed customer deplaning to begin. Passengers should be aware that they deplane at their own risk and the flight could depart anytime without them.
- In most cases, the delayed flight will continue to its destination after passengers who have chosen to deplane do so; United’s customers continue to tell us that, generally, they want to get to their intended destination, even if their arrival will be delayed.
- In instances where customers are permitted to deplane at a remote aircraft parking position, reboarding the aircraft will not be possible and therefore will not be made available. In cases where an aircraft that has returned to a gate in accordance with the Plan, customers may be advised how long the aircraft will remain at the gate to determine how much time (if any) customers may spend inside the terminal prior to having to re-board the aircraft for the continuation of the flight.
- Customers who chose to deplane and make alternative travel arrangements consistent with airline ticketing policies, should be aware that on most domestic flights, their checked baggage will remain on the aircraft to the flight’s final destination. In cases where the flight returns to the gate and is canceled, customers will be able to retrieve their checked luggage at the airport.
- Depending upon aircraft catering provisions, local airport catering supplies, and the circumstances of the delay, adequate food may be a snack item.
- All aircraft covered by this Plan have onboard lavatory services for customer use, and in accordance with this Plan, customers will have access to aircraft lavatories provided that the pilot-in-command has indicated it is safe and secure for customers to move about the aircraft cabin.
- United’s in-flight crews are trained to contact, coordinate, and, if necessary, utilize third party medical service providers, if available, to address customer needs when an aircraft is experiencing a lengthy tarmac delay or is in flight. In-flight crews will also coordinate with the pilot-in-command should any customer require immediate medical attention.
- Customers are encouraged to make appropriate preparations for air travel, such as bringing essential need items onboard the aircraft in accordance with advised carry- on restrictions. Such items may include medicines and other medically required items, baby and child care products (i.e., diapers) and other items essential to personal health and communication requirements. United, in most cases, will not have such products available for customers.
- In the event of an emergency, United will make every effort to share facilities and make gates available at the airports covered in this plan.
- United will implement its Plan consistent with the safe and secure operation of our aircraft.