Correspondence

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Statement of DOT Inspector General on Review of Airline Customer Service Commitments for Extended Ground Delays

On February 27, 2007 Secretary Peters asked the Office of Inspector General to review airline customer service commitments covering extended ground delays in response to recent incidents of passengers being stranded aboard aircrafts for several hours. In response, we issued a statement announcing that we will examine: (1) the airlines' customer service commitments, contracts of carriage, and policies addressing extended ground delays aboard aircraft and (2) recent particular situations involving American Airlines and JetBlue, taking into account any specific commitment these carriers made concerning policies and practices for meeting customers' essential needs during long on-board delays. In addition, we will also make recommendations if we find steps that airlines, airports, or the Department might undertake to prevent a recurrence of such events, and identify any industry "best practices" employed for handling these types of situations.