Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays
The Icelandair Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays is the result of rules put forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation to address airline service during conditions that result in long onboard delays for passengers. This contingency plan is explicitly separate from and not a part of Icelandair contract of carriage.
Before delays occur, Icelandair has a comprehensive plan designed for forecast and adjust to operational challenges and minimize lengthy delays while passengers are on board the aircraft. The Operation Control Center (OCC) at Icelandair headquarters is responsible for the delay execution of this plan, while keeping in mind the safety and well-being of our customers.
Icelandair fully complies with all U.S. Department of Transportation rules regarding lengthy tarmac delays. Our contingency plan is intended to provide you with information regarding Icelandair´s policies and procedures for handling your travel on our airline in the event of a lengthy ground delay for your aircraft.
The Operations Control Center (OCC) is responsible for the management and quality of the plan. The decision-making for this plan lies within the OCC. Airport Customer Service (ACS), Flight Operations and In-Flight Service will carry out the plan at the station and flight level.
The plan builds upon the standard operating procedures now in place to handle extended on-board delays and diversions. All stations have identified resources and developed procedures that will allow them to effectively bring a plane off the runway and open the door, giving the passengers the opportunity to deplane within specified time limits.
Stations will assure that diversions are given the same priority as other taxi delays, meaning passenger egress will be allowed prior to the 4 hour mark. Individual station plans should allow at least 30 minutes (or as much as 60 minutes at larger stations) to complete the task of returning to the gate and deplaning.
All Stations have coordinated plans with Airport Operations and local governmental agencies to meet the tarmac-delay rule's requirements. This includes back-up methods for inoperative equipment and the provisioning and servicing of aircraft.
Customer service divisions have prepared gate announcements to be used as appropriate, based on the situation. The announcements will:
- Identify the reason for the delay and tentative departure time
- Explain boarding strategy
- Explain the possible effect of the DOT's tarmac delay rule
- Notification of passengers rights.
Throughout the flight delay, communication between Icelandair Operations Control Center (OCC) and the flight crew will be continual. Both the OCC and flight crew will monitor the general environment and "mood" of the customers at all times. Icelandair will make decisions for the well-being of all customers aboard the affected flight. Passengers will be notified every 30 minutes on status of the delay.
All Stations have coordinated plans with Airport Operations and local governmental agencies (TSA and CBP where applicable) to meet the tarmac-delay rule's requirements. This includes shared facilities such as gates for emergencies along with back-up methods for inoperative equipment and the provisioning and servicing of aircraft.
Limits of lengthy onboard ground delays
Lengthy onboard ground delays can take place both during taxi-out prior to departure, and during taxi-in after landing. During both of these phases of travel, the following limits apply:
- For international flights that depart from or arrive at a U.S. airport, Icelandair will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than four (4) hours.** Prior to reaching four (4) hours, Icelandair will return the aircraft to the gate, or another suitable disembarkation point, where passengers will be allowed to deplane.
** Delays longer than these time limits may be necessary if (i) 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 (ii) 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.
Notify customers of known delays, cancellations and diversions
When unforeseen problems occur and flights are delayed, cancelled or diverted, Icelandair will notify customers at the airport and on-board an affected aircraft, within 30 minutes of our learning of any such event, with the best available information regarding known delays, cancellations and diversions.
Icelandair policy is to provide updated announcements no later than every 30 minutes. Details of the delay will be announced as communicated via flight information found in the reservation and check-in computer system and from the Operation Control Center.
Passenger services during a lengthy onboard ground delay
For all flights, Icelandair will provide passengers with adequate food and potable water no later than two (2) 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 considerations preclude such service.
For all flights, Icelandair will ensure that operable lavatory facilities will remain available while the aircraft remains on the tarmac. If needed Icelandair will also ensure adequate medical attention is available.
Icelandair has coordinated this Plan with:
- Airport authorities (including terminal facility operators, where applicable) at each U.S. airport served by Icelandair, as well as Icelandair´s regular U.S. diversion airports;
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at each U.S. airport regularly used by Icelandair, including U.S. diversion airports and;
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at each U.S. airports that Icelandair serves, including U.S. diversion airports.
If a flight is operated by Icelandair´s code-share partner, the operating carrier´s Contingency Plan applies.
When necessary Icelandair has taken steps to ensure sufficient resources are available to implement this contingency plan for lengthy tarmac delays.