Customer Service Plan for lengthy waiting times on the tarmac

Austrian endeavours to make every flight a safe and pleasant experience and further enhance the comfort for our customers both on the ground and in the air. Austrian’s Customer Service Plan for lengthy waiting times on the tarmac (“Contingency Plan”) is one further step in this direction.

We have devised this Customer Service Plan in order to underpin our self-image as a top-class, full-service airline and give passengers a clear framework for the services they can expect from us, especially in the event of occasional unavoidable disruptions to normal operations. The Customer Service Plan contains specific provisions to enable us to address our customers’ needs and expectations quickly.

This Customer Service Plan applies to all scheduled flights and public charter flights with an aircraft operated by Austrian that contains at least 30 passenger seats. It may be changed without notice and is not part of Austrian’s contract of carriage.

Austrian’s customer focus

In the case of international flights covered by this Customer Service Plan, Austrian will not permit an aircraft departing or taking off from a US airport to remain on the tarmac for more than four hours. Before four hours have elapsed, Austrian will return the aircraft to the gate or another suitable disembarkation point where passengers may leave the aircraft.

A stopover longer than four hours may be required for technical or security reasons, or air traffic control may inform the pilot that a return to the gate or disembarkation elsewhere would represent a significant disruption to airport operations.

If the aircraft is obliged to remain on the tarmac, Austrian will provide appropriate meals and drinking water on all flights covered by this Customer Service Plan no later than two hours after the aircraft has left the gate (in the case of departures) or has landed (in the case of arrivals).

This service may not be provided if there are technical or security reasons for not doing so, or if the pilot-in-command decides that initiating this service would lead to a further delay or result in the aircraft missing other departure slots.

Austrian will provide operable lavatory facilities and adequate medical attention as required on all flights covered by this Customer Service Plan while the aircraft remains on the tarmac.

  • Austrian Airlines will ensure that passengers on the delayed flight are kept informed about the status of the delay every 30 minutes during the waiting time and will also specify the reasons for the tarmac delay, where known.
  • Austrian will begin providing this information 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time (including departure times changed and announced immediately before boarding) and will then update this every 30 minutes. Passengers will also be informed if there is the option of leaving the aircraft by an open door, whether at the gate or elsewhere.

Austrian has the necessary resources in place to implement this Customer Service Plan.

Austrian has agreed this Customer Service Plan with the local airport authorities, the U.S. Customer and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at every major, medium and small hub airport and non-hub airport served by Austrian and alternative airports regularly used in the USA.