8 planes stuck on tarmac over 3 hours in September

November 17, 2011 - 12:55 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The government says there were 8 planes stuck on the ground for more than three hours in September, the first month that international flights were included in the tally.

Three of the extended delays were domestic flights, trying to leave from Washington Dulles on Sept. 14 during thunderstorms.

Big U.S. airlines have been required to avoid tarmac delays longer than three hours, or face hefty fines, since April of last year. There were 20 such delays in the year after the rule went into effect, compared with 693 the year before. Only one fine has been issued.

Despite more long delays, U.S. airlines cancelled fewer flights in September than in August or September 2010.

Overall more flights were late than a year earlier.