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ASTA calls on DOT to complete work on Tarmac Delay Task Force

ASTA calls on DOT to complete work on Tarmac Delay Task Force ( ALEXANDRIA, VA - In a letter to Secretary Ray LaHood, following his Senate confirmation as US Secretary of Transportation, ASTA requested today that the department bring to a timely conclusion the work of the National Task Force to Develop Model Contingency Plans to Deal with Lengthy Airline On-Board Ground Delays (Tarmac Delay Task Force).

In the letter to Secretary LaHood, ASTA asked that airlines and airports nationwide be required to report to the DOT in six-month phases on the actual progress that each has made in implementing the report's recommendations. In ASTA's opinion, this will assure that the real progress envisioned by the final report of the Task Force will occur.

“The airlines' longstanding promises to improve the treatment of passengers needs to be backed up by a meaningful reporting requirement," said Paul M. Ruden, ASTA's senior vice president for legal and industry affairs and a member of the Task Force. “Without this step, the Task Force is at risk of becoming just another relic on the shelf of government reports."

On November 12, 2008, the Tarmac Delay Task Force concluded nearly a year of debate about how to deal with inevitable major flight delays that strand passengers on aircraft for periods up to eight or even ten hours. ASTA held a seat on the Task Force and voted for its final report, which, while imperfect, nevertheless represented a meaningful, positive step for air travelers.

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge, and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest, and do business.

Ms. Kristina Rundquist VP, Communications American Society of Travel Agents Phone: (703) 739-8710 E-Mail:

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