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Thu, Sep 30, 2021

United Airlines Fined $1.9 Million

Incidents That Caused Long Delays, Violated Passengers Right To Deplane

United Airlines has been fined $1.9 million for over 25 flights where the plane sat on the ground for several hours, which is the largest fine imposed by the government for such long delays.

The Transportation Department said that due to events which occurred between December 2015 and February 2021, more than 3,200 passengers were confined without being given a chance to exit the plane.

United said most of the delays were caused by severe weather, when the airline is concentrating on making sure that planes land safely. According to the airline, they said it was a small number of the nearly 8 million operated by United and its United Express affiliates over the five-year span of the violations.

Following investigation, the company was commanded to pay $950,000. Credits were applied for $750,000 due to compensating passengers on delayed flights and $200,000 for the cost of developing a tool to improve the management of diverted flights.

According to federal regulations, airlines are required to give passengers a chance to return to the terminal if a plane on a domestic flight sits on the ground for at least three hours – four hours for international flights. Exceptions are allowed for safety, security, or air traffic control problems.

In April 2016 the longest delay occurred, taking over five hours. The international flight bound for Houston was rerouted to New Orleans and according to a consent order, passengers were only given the chance to exit the aircraft after the pilots on board exceeded their legal working day and a shift change took place.

FMI: https://www.united.com

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