Unintended Consequences of Regulatory Overreach: Airline Delays

Hoping no doubt to curry favor with passengers beset by lengthy delays Administration bureaucrats set unconscionably high fines for delays. As a result airlines will simply cancel delayed flights rather than bear these punishing consequences for often unavoidable delay:

Under new federal guidelines that take effect next month, airlines can be fined up to $27,500 per passenger if a plane is stuck on the tarmac for longer than three hours.

"How can they say there is nothing wrong with having someone sit on a seat and run out of water and everything and sit on there for three, four, five hours? That's ridiculous," Kelly said.

With the new fines, a delayed MD-80 could cost American Airlines close to $4 million, and a fine for a full 757 could cost more than $5 million.

"It's unavoidable that more flights will be canceled to avoid fines," said American Airlines spokesman Steve Schlachter. "It's one of the unintended consequences of a bill that has no flexibility."

Reminds me of Stalin's punishing factory managers as saboteurs when they could not meet  the unrealistic goals set in Five Year Plans by state planners.
 
Thomas Lifson adds:

Continental Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek explicitly told an investor conference that the airline will cancel flights rather than delay them and suffer fines.

Hoping no doubt to curry favor with passengers beset by lengthy delays Administration bureaucrats set unconscionably high fines for delays. As a result airlines will simply cancel delayed flights rather than bear these punishing consequences for often unavoidable delay:

Under new federal guidelines that take effect next month, airlines can be fined up to $27,500 per passenger if a plane is stuck on the tarmac for longer than three hours.

"How can they say there is nothing wrong with having someone sit on a seat and run out of water and everything and sit on there for three, four, five hours? That's ridiculous," Kelly said.

With the new fines, a delayed MD-80 could cost American Airlines close to $4 million, and a fine for a full 757 could cost more than $5 million.

"It's unavoidable that more flights will be canceled to avoid fines," said American Airlines spokesman Steve Schlachter. "It's one of the unintended consequences of a bill that has no flexibility."

Reminds me of Stalin's punishing factory managers as saboteurs when they could not meet  the unrealistic goals set in Five Year Plans by state planners.
 
Thomas Lifson adds:

Continental Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek explicitly told an investor conference that the airline will cancel flights rather than delay them and suffer fines.