New airline regulations go into effect - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

New airline regulations go into effect


ROCHESTER (KTTC-DT)-- Passengers called it "the flight from hell," after being stuck on a plane at Rochester International Airport overnight, for nearly six hours last August. In part because of that incident new nationwide rules are now in effect that are suppose to prevent that type of situation from happening again.

"I think they're a good idea, it requires the airlines the service that they have to their passengers and we're not just cattle," said Guy Kohlnhofer after getting off a plane Thursday.

Under the guidelines that went into affect today, after two hours passengers must be given fresh food and water.

After three hours, passengers have the option to deplane.

"Allow people to get off the plane, go back to the terminal get off the plane, rebook their flight," notes Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood.

Still there is uncertainty as to how these new policies will work. Carol Mullins is a frequent flyers whose job has her in the air two or three times a week, she's worried it could take her longer to reach her final destination.

"Some of us want to get where we need to go and so coming back to the gate and deplaning then having to reboard again, that's going to be a little bit difficult," says Mullins.

Even those who have been around the airline industry for years say these new regulations have gone too far.

"Will that create more delays or just the ability of people not getting to their destination on the same day? We'll just have to wait to find out," says Steven Leqve who manages Rochester International Airport.

It will now be a matter of time, before travelers see if the new rules bring relief of just add another layer of frustration to air travel.

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