Lengthy tarmac delays may take place in the following situations:
- Flight Departure - A flight is about to take-off from a U.S. airport with all customers on-board the aircraft and a delay happens prior to flight departure; or
- Flight Arrival - A flight has landed at a US airport and a delay happens in the aircraft arriving at the airport gate.
I. Airline's Procedures during Tarmac Delays at US airports
a) Compliance with Applicable Time Limits
For international flights that depart from or arrive at a U.S. airport, Qatar Airways will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than four hours. Prior to reaching the four hour limit, the aircraft will return to the gate or another suitable embarkation point, and customers will be allowed to exit the aircraft, unless (1) the pilot-in-command determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason why 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 elsewhere in order to deplane passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.
b) Customer Care Measures
Qatar Airways will provide passengers with 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 concerns preclude such service.
Qatar Airways will provide operable lavatory facilities on the aircraft during lengthy tarmac delays. We will also cater to the customer comfort needs and necessary medical requirements of our customers while the aircraft is on the tarmac.
c) Customer Communication
Qatar Airways crew will keep our customers informed through on-board announcements every 30 minutes regarding the following:
(i) Status and reason for the delay, if known;
(ii) Notify customers that they may deplane from the aircraft, if the opportunity to deplane actually exists.
Qatar Airways ensures availability of the appropriate resources in order to effectively deal with lengthy tarmac delay situations.
We are in the process of coordinating our contingency plan with the respective authorities at each U.S. airport that Qatar Airways serves, as well as our regular diversion U.S. airports in order to better serve our customers.