CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR LENGTHY TARMAC DELAYS
Effective August 23, 2011, foreign carriers like Kuwait Airways are required to establish Contingency Plans for tarmac delays of greater than four (4) hours. This requirement is imposed by the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Enhanced Protections for Airline Passengers rule on all foreign carriers that operate scheduled passenger or charter service to or from the United States. Our "Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays" (Plan) meets or exceeds all requirements imposed by DOT's rule.
In accordance with DOT's rule and the Department's existing regulations, our Plan outlines the procedures Kuwait Airways will follow and the services it will provide should a lengthy tarmac delay occur on one of our scheduled or charter flights to or from the United States. Our Plan is detailed below, and also available on our website at Kuwait Airways.
Our primary goal on every flight is to transport our passengers to their respective destinations in as safe and timely a manner as possible. However, flights are sometimes delayed due to events outside of our control such as severe weather, air traffic control (ATC) delays, or government restrictions. When such circumstances cause our customers to experience lengthy tarmac delays, our Plan will be activated so that our customers' needs are properly accommodated during the delay.
Kuwait Airways proudly assures its customers that, for international flights covered by this Plan that depart from or arrive to a U.S. airport:
- We will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac at a U.S. airport for more than four hours before allowing passengers to deplane, unless: (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.
- We will provide 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 considerations preclude such service.
- We will provide operable lavatory facilities while the aircraft remains on the tarmac.
- We will provide adequate medical attention if needed while the aircraft remains on the tarmac.
- We will notify customers regarding the status of the delay every 30 minutes while the aircraft is delayed, including the reasons of the tarmac delay, if known.
- We will notify customers beginning 30 minutes after scheduled departure time (including any revised departure time that passengers were notified about before boarding) and every 30 minutes thereafter that they have the opportunity to deplane from an aircraft that is at the gate or another disembarkation area with the door open if the opportunity to deplane actually exists. Passengers who choose to deplane may not be permitted to re-board and will be notified of this possibility if it exists.
- We have coordinated this Plan with airport authorities (including terminal facility operators where applicable) at each large, medium, small, and non- hub U.S. airport that we serve, including our regular U.S. diversion airports.
- We have coordinated this Plan with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at each large, medium, small, and non- hub U.S. airports that we regularly use for international flights, including our diversion airports.
- We have coordinated this Plan with the Transportation Security Administration at each large, medium, small, and non- hub U.S. airports that we serve, including diversion airports.
- We have sufficient resources to implement this Plan.
PUTTING OUR PLAN IN ACTION
When we are forced to call our Plan into action, our highly trained flight operations staff will interface with representatives at the affected airport to ensure our customers' needs are met and that our actions fully comply with DOT regulations. While the delay is ongoing, our flight operations staff and flight crew will monitor the situation and work to ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers.
If our flight crew, flight operations staff, and the applicable airport authority determine the conditions are safe, customers may be deplaned, either at a terminal gate or at a designated aircraft parking position, depending on the circumstances. If a terminal is not available, we may provide stairs and transportation back to the terminal building.
In the event passengers are deplaned, we reserve the right to refuse re-boarding. Passengers who deplane and are permitted to re-board must present their boarding passes prior to re-boarding the aircraft.
Under our Plan, customers experiencing a lengthy tarmac delay will be offered drinking water and, if possible, full beverage service. Adequate food will also be provided, although we may not necessarily offer full food service. These resources will be provided no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of a departure) or touches down (in the case of an arrival) while the aircraft remains on the tarmac, provided that the pilot-in-command has indicated that their provision is safe.
All of our aircraft are equipped with onboard lavatory facilities that are available to our passengers. Passengers experiencing a lengthy tarmac delay will have access to these facilities while the aircraft remains on the tarmac, provided that the pilot-in-command has indicated it is safe for passengers to move freely through the cabin.
Each of our flight crew members is trained to address the basic medical needs of our customers during a lengthy tarmac delay. If a passenger requires significant medical attention, our crew members will coordinate with the pilot-in-command and outside medical service providers to ensure our customers' needs are met.
This Contingency Plan for Lengthy Tarmac Delays does not create contractual or legal rights, nor legally bind Kuwait Airways for actions taken in conformance of this plan. Kuwait Airways' contractual rights and obligations are listed in the company's Conditions of Carriage and applicable tariffs. These resources provide customers with additional information on the matters discussed herein, and should be carefully reviewed to ensure that customers fully understand their rights and our obligations.