The Aviation Enforcement Office of the US DOT is investigating complaints filed by passengers of Etihad flight 183, this site has learned.
Last Saturday Many Etihad flights left Abu Dhabi with huge delays due to adverse weather. Passengers on Etihad Flight 183 service from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco for twelve hours had to stay on the plane for twelve hours before take-off.
Furious passengers took to social media to vent their frustration. “EY183 on runway for 9 hours. Terrible service and crew won't serve food.
Now further delays as they replace (unserved) food,” @SuzeTwtr tweeted. Reduced Mobility Rights understands at least one wheelchair user was on board flight 183.
Under Part 259 of the US Department of Transportation, air carriers must give passengers food and drinking water no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate if the plane remains on the tarmac. But the Rule only applies to US airports.
“DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office investigates each passenger’s complaint independently to evaluate whether or not there was an unfair or deceptive practice,” a spokesperson for the DOT told Reduced Mobility Rights. “So far, we have received five complaints about the Etihad Airways tarmac delay. “
Passengers of Etihad flight 183 can file a complaint via the Aviation Consumer Protection Division website. (Link opens a new window).
“As always, we will send them to the airline and ask the carrier to reply to the consumer; we will ask Etihad to send us a copy of its reply,” the DOT spokesperson added.
Etihad Airways was not available to comment on this development or whether they plan to compensate affected passengers.
“We will review our policies on the length of time aircraft can remain on the ground with guests aboard while waiting for a take-off slot,” the airline posted on their Tweeter feed.