Terms and Conditions

US tarmac delay plan

Lengthy tarmac delays

Although rare, delays sometimes occur after customers have boarded the aircraft. In the event that this happens we commit to providing you with timely updates, and will ensure you have access to toilet facilities, water, food and medical assistance, where it is safe and practical to do so. On the few occasions where flights are delayed whilst passengers are on board (known as a tarmac delay) we will take all reasonable steps to ensure you are made as comfortable as possible. Tarmac delays are situations which Thomas Cook Airlines UK always tries to avoid. However, sometimes weather, gate-space limitations, visibility, airport conditions, mechanical issues, Air Traffic Control requirements, or other uncontrollable circumstances cause unavoidable ground delays.

Lengthy tarmac delay contingencyplan for USA flights

For international flights that depart from or arrive at a U.S. airport, Thomas Cook Airlines UK has established a Contingency plan.

In the event of a lengthy onboard delay prior to takeoff or upon landing, our Operations Coordination Center will coordinate with the Pilot-in-command,the local Airport Operations Team, and authorities at the airport to fulfill our plan.

Contingency Plan

For international flights covered by this Plan that depart from or arrive at a U.S. airport, Thomas Cook Airlines will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than four hours before allowing passengers to deplane


The pilot-in-command determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason why the aircraft cannot leave its position on the tarmac to deplane passengers


Air traffic control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to the gate or another disembarkation point elsewhere in order to deplane passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.

Passenger Services During a Lengthy Onboard Ground Delay

Thomas Cook Airlines UK will:

  • Provide passengers with adequate food and water no later than two 2 hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of departure) or touches down (in the case of arrival) if the aircraft remains on the tarmac (unless the pilot in command determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service)
  • Ensure that operable lavatory facilities will remain available while the aircraft remains on the tarmac
  • Ensure adequate medical attention is available, if needed
  • Notify passengers regarding the status of the delay every 30 minutes, including reasons for the delay, if known.
  • Notify passengers every 30 minutes that they may get off the aircraft, if this is possible.


Thomas Cook Airlines UK has taken steps to ensure that sufficient resources are available to implement this contingency plan for lengthy tarmac delays, when necessary.

In the event that you are on a flight operated by one of Thomas Cook Airlines UK codeshare partners, the tarmac delay contingency plan of the carrier operating your flight will apply in the event of a tarmac delay.