About Us

Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays

Schedule irregularities, including long delays on the ground after boarding or after landing, can occur for any number of reasons. National Airlines is committed to keeping our passengers informed and as comfortable as possible in the event a lengthy tarmac delay occurs. National works with each local airport authority in our destination cities, as well as coordinating with local authorities, the Transportation Security Administration, and for international flights, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, on contingency plans for each of our locations.

National Airlines will not permit an aircraft to remain on a tarmac at a U.S. airport for more than three hours for domestic flights, or four hours for international flights, before allowing passengers to deplane unless (1) the pilot-in-command determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason 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 other deplaning location would significantly disrupt airport operations.

For all lengthy tarmac delays, National will do the following:

  • Provide passengers adequate food and potable 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 reasons preclude such service;
  • Ensure that operable lavatory facilities will remain available while the aircraft remains on the tarmac;
  • Ensure adequate medical attention is available, if needed, while the aircraft remains on the tarmac;
  • Notify passengers on a delayed flight of the status of the delay every thirty minutes while the aircraft is delayed, including the reasons for the tarmac delay, if known;
  • Notify passengers on the delayed flight beginning thirty minutes after the scheduled departure time (including any revised departure time that passengers were notified of before boarding) and every thirty 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.

National Airlines is committed to keeping our valued passengers safe while at the same time making them as comfortable as possible, including providing timely updates on information that impacts their travel plans. National Airlines believes its tarmac delay contingency plans serve our triple purpose of keeping our passengers safe, comfortable, and informed.

Our Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays is separate from and not a part of National Airlines’ Contract of Carriage.

Last updated: October 22 2015

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