United Airlines Hit with $2.75 Million Fine for Tarmac Delays, Disability Complaints

By Paul Riegler on 8 January 2016
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DSC_0825The U.S. Department of Transportation fined United Airlines for violating rules concerning long tarmac delays as well as rules that protect disabled travelers.

The airline was fined $2.75 million for disability-related complaints in 2014 and long tarmac delays in both 2013 and 2015 and was given a cease-and-desist order to ensure no reoccurrences.

“We will make sure that airlines comply with our rules and treat their passengers fairly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.

The department said that there had been a significant increase in disability-related complaints against United in 2014, adding that United had “failed to provide passengers with disabilities prompt and adequate assistance” in boarding and disembarking its aircraft and in moving through terminals at Chicago O’Hare International, Denver International, Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Newark Liberty International, and Washington Dulles International airports.

The airline was fined for five tarmac delays at Chicago O’Hare on December 8, 2013 and one for a flight that diverted to Houston Hobby Airport on May 20, 2015.

Part of the fines levied include $150,000 that United must spend on quality assurance audits of its contracted wheelchair vendors and $500,000 on a mobile app that will assist passengers with disabilities in requesting assistance at airports.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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