American Airlines Fined $4.1 Million For Delays Which Kept Passengers On Tarmac For Hours
American Airlines is being fined $4.1 million for a number of instances where passengers were kept on board planes on the tarmac during delays. According to a press release by the Department of Transportation the fines were a result of “violating federal statutes and the Department’s rule prohibiting tarmac delays of three hours or more on domestic flights without providing passengers an opportunity to deplane.”
American Airlines Fined
This is the largest fine ever issued for tarmac delay violations. It also includes a cease and desist from violating the law. They state that American Airlines has violated it dozens of times. “This is the latest action in our continued drive to enforce the rights of airline passengers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Whether the issue is extreme tarmac delays or problems getting refunds, DOT will continue to protect consumers and hold airlines accountable.”
The incidences leading to the fines occurred between 2018 and 2021. During that period of time, American Airlines allowed 43 domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for extended periods of time while not allowing passengers an opportunity to deplane. This was a direct violation of the Department’s tarmac delay rule. There are exceptions to this rule for safety and security. However those exceptions did not apply in any of these instances. On one of these flights, not only were passengers unable to deplane they were also not provided food and or water which is required in these situations. The majority of these delays resulting in fines occurred at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
Dallas Fort Worth along with Charlotte Douglas are hubs for American Airlines. Chances are if you fly out of Charlotte often you fly American at least some of the time. It’s by far the most convenient airline to fly in Charlotte. Hopefully, American Airlines being fined will prevent these instances from occurring in the future. Flight delays seem almost inevitable these days. But there is a big difference between being stuck in the airport and being stuck on the plane. You can read the full press release from the Department of Transportation here