Copa Airlines has prepared a contingency plan to manage and minimize negative impact on customers in situations where several factors can cause a lengthy tarmac delay. This plan is designed in accordance to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
Our main guidelines in cases of lengthy tarmac delays:
- Copa Airlines will not allow an aircraft to remain on the tarmac at a U.S. airport for more than four hours before allowing passengers to get off board. An exception to this will be if the pilot in command determines there is a safety related or security related reason, and the aircraft can’t leave its position on the tarmac to let passengers deplane. Another exception can be if the air traffic control advises the pilot in command that returning to the gate to let passengers deplane would disrupt airport operations.
- Copa Airlines will provide customers with snack food and drinking water no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in case of departure) or touches down (in case of arrival) and the aircraft remains on the tarmac. This service can be avoided if the pilot in command determines it in reason of safety or security issues.
- Copa Airlines will provide lavatory facilities and access to medical treatment, when needed, for passengers on board an aircraft that remains on the tarmac.
- Copa Airlines will notify customers on board an aircraft that remains on the tarmac the status of the lengthy delay every 30 minutes. This notification should include the reason of the delay if is known.
- Copa Airlines works with other airlines and airport authorities to share facilities in cases where lengthy tarmac delays occur.
- Copa Airlines will assure that the passengers on the delayed flight will be notified 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.
- Copa Airlines will ensure that it has sufficient resources available to implement this plan and that it has coordinated this plan with the airport authorities, US Customs and Border Patrol and the US Transportation and Security Administration at the airports and diversion airports that we serve in the United States.
When a Copa Airlines code (CM) is displayed on a flight that is operated by another carrier, the tarmac delay contingency plan that governs is the plan of the operating carrier.