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American Airline’s Violation Results in $1.6 Million Fine

American Airlines is being fined $1.6 million for violating the Department of Transportations’ tarmac delay rule. This comes after the DOT investigated a few incidents 2014 and 2015 where a few domestic flights were left on the tarmac for hours at a time. Flights in Dallas, Shreveport, and Charlotte all experienced this during 2013 and 2015.  The DOT demanded the airline abstain from making any future violations of the same kind.

The DOT rules state that an airline cannot have more than thirty passengers on a plane waiting for more than three hours without the option of getting off the plane. These rules are, however, made exception when there are cases of emergency or air traffic control issues. When these exceptions do occur, the airlines are required to provide their passenger with food, water, and to make sure the bathroom are functioning properly.

In some of the cases, like the tarmac delay in Dallas, heavy rain and snowfall were the cause of the delay. Further investigation also found that the long tarmac delay in Shreveport, Louisiana was due to difficulties with the carrier. Of the $1.6 million American Airline is being fined, $602,000 is to go to passengers who were affected by the delay, and $303,000 is going toward carrier expenses.

Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, made a statement saying, “Our tarmac rule is meant to prevent passengers from being trapped in aircraft on the ground for hours on end. We will continue to take enforcement action as necessary to ensure passengers are not kept delayed on the tarmac for lengthy periods of time.”

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