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American Airlines Hit with $2M DOT Fine Over Lengthy Delays

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American Airlines Gets $2 Million Fine for Lengthy Delays

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined American Airlines $2.05 million for repeated delays. The airline violated multiple time the Department’s rule prohibiting tarmac delays of three hours or more on domestic flights without providing passengers an opportunity to deplane.

DOT’s investigation found that American kept dozens of flights stuck on the tarmac for long periods of time without letting passengers off. This is the largest fine ever issued for tarmac delay violations and cease and desist from violating the law.

The fine comes after an extensive investigation by the Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP). That investigation found that between 2018 and 2021, American allowed 43 domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for lengthy periods without providing passengers an opportunity to deplane.

While there are exceptions to the tarmac delay rule, such as safety and security, non of them applied to the flights in question. In addition, on one of the 43 flights, passengers were not provided with food and water as required.

Most of the delays occurred at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The tarmac delays affected a total of  5,821 passengers.

The DOT’s assessed a total fine of $4.1 million, but half of that will be credited to the airline for compensation provided to passengers on the affected flights.

DOT encourages airlines to compensate passengers by providing these credits so that a portion of the civil penalties that would have been paid to the Federal Treasury is instead used to compensate affected passengers.

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