United Airlines fined US$1.9 million for tarmac delay

Texas News Today

FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger plane takes off in the background of New York City at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, USA on December 6, 2019. Reuters / Chris Hale Glen / FILE PHOTO

September 24, 2021

David Shepherdson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United Airlines has been fined $1.9 million by the US Department of Transportation for violating federal rules on long-term tarmac delays and ordered to prevent similar violations in the future.

Between December and February 2015, United allowed passengers to leave 25 flights on the tarmac for an extended period of time, according to the agency, without allowing passengers to leave the aircraft.

“We promise to fully meet all DOT regulations and will continue to identify and implement improvements to the way we manage difficult operating conditions,” United said on Friday.

The ministry said this is the biggest ever fine of its kind, affecting a total of 3,218 passengers. The Biden administration has promised a tougher policy on airline consumer behavior. https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/us-probing-18-airlines-over-delayed-refund-complaints-2021-09-09

“Of the approximately 8 million flights operated by United, only 25 will eventually be operated,” United said, and its partners have guaranteed “mandatory measures” for more than five years.

Airlines are generally not allowed to park their aircraft for more than 3 hours on domestic flights and for more than 4 hours on international flights without providing passengers with the opportunity to disembark.

United pays a $950,000 fine, but United has been paid $750,000 to compensate the affected passengers.

The Department of Transportation said the $200,000 worth of fines were “a detour that would improve United’s Network Operations Center’s overall situational awareness of the system-wide detour and allow United to avoid airport supersaturation with detours,” he said. That they would be credited with United for developing the “management tool”.

“We believe there is a tension between regulations and operational decisions to arrange flights to allow passengers to take advantage of the opportunity to reach their final destination,” United Airlines said.

United said it has made significant improvements and investments in managing conversions since 2015.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, edited by Diane Craft)

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