U.S. Issues Fine for Tarmac Delay

Finally, justice for people who have been trapped on airport runways for hours: on Monday the Department of Transportation issued its first fine for tarmac delays when it ordered American Eagle, the regional line of American Airlines, to pay $900,000 for keeping passengers on 15 flights on the tarmac for more than three hours at Chicago’s O’Hare airport in May. Treasury Secretary Ray LaHood said he wanted to send a message to other airlines, although the fine was much less than the $16.7 million—or $27,500 for each of the 608 passengers—that could have been charged. The government began requiring airlines to allow passengers to leave the plane after three hours in April 2010.