US federal authorities are understood to have launched an investigation after 300 passengers were left stranded for four hours onboard a grounded Virgin Atlantic flight.
The flight, which left London Heathrow bound for Newark on Tuesday (June 22), was diverted to Connecticut’s Bradley Airport as a result of “adverse weather conditions”.
VA could faces fines of up to $27,500 (£8,340) per passenger, after the US Department of Transportation (DoT) set new regulations earlier this year. But the DoT’s “three-hour limit” regulation only applies to US airlines and domestic flights, exempting VA.
The new rules also stipulate that passengers be given food and water during extended waits on the runway, and VA could still be in violation of other regulations.
In a statement, VA said it was “gathering all of the information regarding the incident”.
“Until we have completed this process, we cannot comment any further at this stage,” the airline added.
VA apologised to passengers and praised them for their patience at the time.
For a closer look at passenger rights, including tarmac delays, see What are my rights in the May issue of Business Traveller magazine.