Politics|U.S. Fines American Airlines $4.1 Million for Lengthy Tarmac Delays
In 43 instances successful caller years, the hose kept passengers stranded connected the tarmac for hours successful usurpation of national rules, the Transportation Department said.
Aug. 28, 2023, 1:47 p.m. ET
The Transportation Department fined American Airlines $4.1 cardinal connected Monday, saying the bearer violated national rules by keeping passengers stranded connected airdrome tarmacs for hours connected dozens of occasions successful caller years.
The bureau said the good was the largest punishment it had ever doled retired for tarmac delays. The violations stem from 43 home flights betwixt 2018 and 2021 successful which passengers were stuck connected the tarmac for much than 3 hours without being fixed a accidental to deplane, according to the department.
A bulk of the delays occurred astatine Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the largest hub for American Airlines. Others took spot astatine George Bush Intercontinental Airport successful Houston, San Antonio International Airport and Ronald Reagan National Airport adjacent Washington. The astir extended hold was successful San Antonio, erstwhile a formation carrying 105 passengers sat connected the tarmac for six hours successful August 2020.
“This is the latest enactment successful our continued thrust to enforce the rights of hose passengers,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said successful a statement. “Whether the contented is utmost tarmac delays oregon problems getting refunds, D.O.T. volition proceed to support consumers and clasp airlines accountable.”
Sarah Jantz, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said the bearer had made important efforts to trim tarmac delays, specified arsenic deploying a instrumentality that adjusts the timing of flights successful effect to atrocious weather.
“While these delays were the effect of exceptional upwind events, the flights correspond a precise tiny fig of the 7.7 cardinal flights during this clip period,” Ms. Jantz said successful a statement. “We person since apologized to the impacted customers and regret immoderate inconvenience caused.”
American Airlines volition person to wage lone fractional of the $4.1 cardinal good to the national government. For the different half, the authorities is giving the hose recognition for compensation provided to passengers for delays.
The national prohibition connected lengthy tarmac delays dates to the Obama administration. For home flights, airlines are not allowed to support passengers sitting connected the tarmac for much than 3 hours without giving them a accidental to deplane. For planetary flights, the bounds is 4 hours.
During Mr. Buttigieg’s tenure, the Transportation Department has tried to stress its tendency to amended the flying experience for travelers and clasp airlines accountable for their performance.