Paying the Pied Piper

Airlines are WAY past their due.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that American Eagle Airlines became the first airline to be slapped with fines for violating the Department’s three-hour limit for tarmac delays.

On May 29, 2011, 15 different American Eagle Airlines flights left 608 passengers sitting on the Chicago O’Hare International Airport tarmac for a total of 225 minutes — 45 minutes beyond the limit.

For the violation, American Eagle Airlines has received a fine of $900,000 — the largest fine to date in a consumer case not involving [a] civil rights violation.

“We put the tarmac rule in place to protect passengers, and we take any violation very seriously,” explained U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will work to ensure that airlines and airports coordinate their resources and plans to avoid keeping passengers delayed on the tarmac.”

Yay!

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