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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DOT Fines Copa Airlines, Virgin America for Tarmac Delays

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) issued fines to Panama’s Copa Airlines and Virgin America Airlines for tarmac delays.

Virgin America received a $55,000 fine for failing to notify passengers on a July flight from Chicago to San Francisco that they could leave the aircraft prior to departure. The plane was delayed at the gate for more than two hours.

Copa Airlines received a $150,000 fine for leaving passengers stranded on a plane for more than five hours at JFK Airport prior to a flight bound for Panama. The carrier failed to report the delay to DoT, and also failed to provide food and water until four hours into the delay. DoT requires carriers to provide food and water no later than two hours after leaving the gate.

“Our tarmac rules are meant to prevent passengers from being trapped in aircraft on the ground for hours on end, and we will continue to work with airlines and airports to make sure that air travelers are treated with the respect they deserve before, during and after their flights,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. 

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