The United States Department of Transportation American Airlines USDOT. Fined American Airlines $4.1 million or Rp.62.5 billion for illegally holding thousands of passengers on the tarmac for hours on end. This is the biggest punishment ever for breaking the rules.
Of that amount, as much as, 2.05 million dollars will be credite to airlines as compensation for affected flight passengers, announced USDOT, Monday, August 28, 2023.
USDOT says an extensive investigation by the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection found that between 2018 and 2021, American allowed 43 domestic flights to remain on the runway for extended periods of time without giving passengers the opportunity to deplane, in violation of the department’s runway delay rules.
On one of the 43 flights, passengers were not provided with food and water as needed.
The delay affected 5,821 passengers.
“This is the latest action in our ongoing effort to uphold the rights of airline passengers,” said US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
American told USDOT that the delay was to an extraordinary weather event. And that the flights represented less than 0.001% of the approximately. 77 Million flights operated by America and its regional partners during the 2018 to 2021 period.
The airline said it had devoted “substantial time and resources to improve its performance in addressing runway delays.”
In 2016, USDOT fine American Airlines $1.6 million after it was discovere. That the airline had allowed some domestic flights to remain on the tarmac without giving passengers a chance to deplane. The USDOT in January said it planned to seek higher penalties from airlines. And others who violate consumer protection regulations, saying this was necessary to prevent future violations. The department has fined multiple airlines in recent years. Including a $135,000 fine to British Airways for a 2017 runway delay that failed to ensure timely disembarkation.