United Airlines fined $ 1.9 million for delays on U.S. tarmac by Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as the backdrop at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, the United States, December 6, 2019. REUTERS / Chris Helgren / File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United Airlines was fined $ 1.9 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday for violating federal rules on long tarmac delays and was ordered to cease similar violations in the future.

The department said between December 2015 and February, United allowed 25 flights to stay on the tarmac for extended periods of time without passengers being able to disembark.

United said Friday it was “committed to fully complying with all DOT rules and continuing to identify and implement improvements in dealing with difficult operating conditions.”

The ministry said this was the largest fine of its kind ever imposed, affecting a total of 3,218 passengers. The Biden government has pledged to take a tough line on airline consumer actions. https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/us-probing-18-airlines-over-delayed-refund-complaints-2021-09-09

United found that “ultimately only 25 of nearly 8 million flights operated by United” and its partners warranted “enforcement action” over more than five years.

Airlines are generally not allowed to leave aircraft on the tarmac for more than three hours on domestic flights and four hours on international flights without giving passengers an opportunity to disembark.

United is required to pay $ 950,000 of the fine, while United was credited with $ 750,000 in compensation for affected passengers.

The Department of Transportation said US $ 200,000 of the fine will be credited to United in order to “develop a diversion management tool that will improve the overall situational awareness of United’s Network Operations Center for system-wide diversions and better enable United to better cope with airport oversaturation Avoid diversion flights “.

United said it “believes there is also tension between rules and operational decisions to position flights to take advantage of opportunities to get passengers to their final destination”.

United added that it has made significant improvements and investments in rerouting management since 2015.

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