DOT wants to relax tarmac delay rules
The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing regulatory changes to its tarmac delay rules, which were put into place in 2011 to protect passengers from being kept on the ground on commercial aircraft for extraordinarily long periods of time. Under current law, airlines will face significant fines if they allow domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without allowing passengers to deplane. The maximum time on the tarmac for international flights is four hours. The proposed regulatory changes ease these rules for airlines by changing the definitions as to when the clock begins and ends for time on the tarmac. Airlines are praising the new proposal, while opponents say the changes are anti-consumer. The public can comment on the proposal (docket number DOT-OST-2019-9144) through Dec. 24, 2019.
Poland officially joins U.S. Visa Waiver Program Nov. 11
After years of being excluded from the United States’ Visa Waiver Program, Poland will finally become an official member on Nov. 11, 2019. Travelers from Poland will no longer need to obtain a visa for travel to the U.S. for stays of less than 90 days. Poles will still need to apply for a travel authorization as part of the electronic system for travel authorizations (ESTA), which is required for all foreign visitors from Visa Waiver countries. The ESTA costs just $14 compared to $160 for a formal visa for Polish travelers.