United Airlines Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan

Effective May 24, 2018

In accordance with Department of Transportation Enhanced Protections for Airline Passengers regulations (14 CFR Part 259), United Airlines (United”) has Created a Lengthy Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan “(Plan”). In the unusual event of such a delay either before takeoff or after landing, United will seek to ensure that: 

  1. For domestic U.S. flights covered by the Plan, United will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours before allowing passengers to deplane unless: 1) 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 2) 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; or 3) in the case of a departing flight only, the aircraft begins to return to a suitable disembarkation point within three hours.
  2. 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: 1) 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 2) 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; or 3) in the case of a departing flight only, the aircraft begins to return to a suitable disembarkation point within four hours. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. United has sufficient resources to implement this Plan.
  8. 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, and, if necessary, will work with airport authorities and other airlines to share facilities and make gates available in an emergency.
  9. 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: The tarmac delay contingency plan of the operating carrier governs when it is operating a flight on which the United (UA) code is displayed.

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