This CNN article seems to indicate that data for the same period before/after the new rules were implemented show a dramatic drop in tarmac delays over 3 hours. http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/06/07/tarmac.delays/index.html?hpt=hp_c2 Apparently the number of delays from May 2009 to April 2010 exceeding 3 hours was almost 700. For the period of May 2010 to April 2011 that number dropped to only twenty. I was a firm believer that the airlines would rather cancel a flight than pay the fines, but apparently the number of cancelled flights after being delayed over 2 hours has risen only slightly. So either the airlines were really kicked into shape by the prospect of multi-million dollar compensations or they found a new way to hide the delays.