effective 15 May 2021
Via Airlines dba Sterling Airways (the “Airline”) is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to our customers. We are committed to operating a safe and reliable schedule. The Airline’s goal is to make every flight a safe and pleasant experience for our customers. Environmental and operational factors may occasionally cause lengthy tarmac delays. In compliance with our customer commitment and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, we have planned and prepared to manage and minimize lengthy tarmac delays on the Airline flights.
Consistent with DOT regulations, this Tarmac Delay Plan (the “Plan”) applies to the Airline’s scheduled and public charter flights at each U.S. large hub airport, medium hub airport, small hub airport and non-hub airport at which the Airline operates or markets such service.
Assurances to Customers
- The Airline will provide a passenger on a flight experiencing a tarmac delay the opportunity to deplane before three hours (for domestic flights) or four hours (for international flights) unless: (1) for departing flights, the flight begins to return to a suitable disembarkation point no later than three hours (for domestic flights) or four hours (for international flights) after the main aircraft door is closed in order to deplane passengers; (2) The pilot-in-command determines that deplaning passengers at a suitable disembarkation point would jeopardize passenger safety or security, or there is a safety related or security related reason why the aircraft cannot leave its position on the tarmac to deplane passengers; or (3) Air traffic control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to a suitable disembarkation point to deplane passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.
- For all flights covered by this Plan, the Airline will provide adequate food and drinking water no later than two hours after the start of the tarmac delay, unless the pilot-in–command determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service. Tarmac delay begin when passengers no longer have the opportunity to deplane which can occur before pushback
- For all flights covered by this Plan, the Airline will provide operable lavatory facilities (for aircraft that are equipped with lavatories), maintain comfortable cabin temperatures, and ensure adequate medical attention if needed during a tarmac delay.
- For all flights covered by this Plan, the Airline will ensure that passengers on the delayed flight receive notification regarding the status of the delay when the tarmac delay exceeds 30 minutes and every 30 minutes thereafter while the aircraft is delayed, including the reasons for the tarmac delay, if
- For all flights covered by this Plan, the Airline will ensure that for all departing flights and diversions, the Airline will ensure that each time the opportunity to deplane exists at a suitable disembarkation point, it will timely notify the passengers on board the aircraft that the passengers have the opportunity to deplane.
- The Airline has sufficient resources to implement this
- The Airline has coordinated this Plan with airport authorities (including terminal facility operators where applicable), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at each U.S. airport that we serve, including regular U.S. diversion
Note: Consistent with the Airline Contract of Carriage, the tarmac delay contingency plan of the operating carrier governs when it is operating a flight on which the Airline (VC) code is displayed.
We would like our customers to be aware of the following information regarding certain customer service provisions during a lengthy tarmac delayed flight.
- If needed, deplaning of customers may occur when it is safe and secure to do so at either a terminal gate or at a designated aircraft parking position on airport grounds via stairs and ground
- All customers who want to deplane from a flight that has experienced a lengthy tarmac delay and make alternative travel arrangements consistent with airline ticketing policies may do so when it is determined to be safe and secure, after the aircraft has been moved into position for deplaning, all operational requirements for deplaning have been completed, and the pilot-in-command has allowed customer deplaning to begin. Passengers should be aware that they deplane at their own risk and the flight could depart anytime without
- In most cases, the delayed flight will continue to its destination after passengers who have chosen to deplane do so; The Airline customers continue to tell us that, generally, they want to get to their intended destination, even if their arrival will be
- In instances where customers are permitted to deplane at a remote aircraft parking position, re-boarding the aircraft will not be possible and therefore will not be made available. In cases where an aircraft that has returned to a gate in accordance with the Plan, customers may be advised how long the aircraft will remain at the gate to determine how much time (if any) customers may spend inside the terminal prior to having to re-board the aircraft for the continuation of the flight.
- Customers who chose to deplane and make alternative travel arrangements consistent with airline ticketing policies, should be aware that on most domestic flights, their checked baggage will remain on the aircraft to the flight’s final destination. In cases where the flight returns to the gate and is canceled, customers will be able to retrieve their checked luggage at the airport.
- Depending upon aircraft catering provisions, local airport catering supplies and the circumstances of the delay, adequate food may be a snack
- For all aircraft covered by this Plan with onboard lavatory services for customer use, customers will have access to aircraft lavatories provided that the pilot-in-command has indicated it is safe and secure for customers to move about the aircraft
- The Airline Flight Attendants are trained to contact, coordinate, and, if necessary, utilize third party medical service providers, if available, to address customer needs when an aircraft is experiencing a lengthy tarmac delay or is in flight. In-flight crews will also coordinate with the pilot-in-command should any customer require immediate medical
- The Airline will maintain cabin temperatures at a comfortable level during a tarmac In the event the pilot-in-command determines that the cabin temperature is uncomfortable for passengers, he or she will return the aircraft to the gate as soon as possible or make other arrangements to ensure that cabin temperatures are comfortable on the tarmac.
- Customers are encouraged to make appropriate preparations for air travel, such as bringing essential need items onboard the aircraft in accordance with advised carry-on restrictions. Such items may include medicines and other medically required items, baby and childcare products (i.e., diapers) and other items essential to personal health and communication requirements. The Airline will not have such products available for
- In the event of an emergency at an airport covered by this Plan, the Airline will work with the airport operator and, where necessary, other carriers at the airport, to share facilities and make gates
- The Airline will implement its Plan consistent with the safe and secure operation of our aircraft.