In February, the airline was also fined $130,000 for a nearly 5-hour delay on a May 2012 flight from Chicago to Tokyo.
United Airlines is not the first airline to be fined by the DOT for tarmac delays. Earlier this year, the DOT fined Virgin American $55,000 for not announcing to passengers that they could leave the airplane. The plane was delayed for a little more than two hours at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Copa Airlines of Panama was also fined earlier this year. Copa was fined $150,000 for leaving passengers waiting on a plane at JFK for five and a half hours in 2012. Passengers were not offered food until four hours into the flight delay. The delay was also not reported to the DOT and DOT only found out about the case when two passengers filed complaints.
JetBlue was hit with a $90,000 fine in 2012. The tarmac delay lasted two and a half hours. The airline did not inform its passenger that they could leave the plane while the plane was still at the gate.
In 2011, American Airlines was fined when 15 of its American Eagle aircraft carrying 608 passengers were delayed for more than three hours. The airline could have been fined $16.7 million but a settlement dropped the fine to $900,000. American Eagle violated the DOT policy again Christmas 2012. That violation resulted in a $200,00 fine.
By Judith Retana for PeterGreenberg.com