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July 23, 2013

American Eagle fined $200,000 for Christmas 2012 tarmac delays at DFW

American Eagle was fined $200,000 by the Department of Transportation for tarmac delays at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport last Christmas.

Ten Eagle flights had delays over three-hours during the December 25, 2012 snow storm that blanketed North Texas. A flight arriving from Sioux Falls, N.D., had a delay over three hours and 48 minutes as it sat on the tarmac waiting for a gate assignment.

"Airline passengers have rights, and the Department of Transportation has rules in place to protect them from being stuck on a tarmac waiting hours to get off their plane," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  "We will continue to take enforcement action when airlines violate our tarmac delay rules."

Another flight from Baton Rouge, La., arrived at 3:29 p.m. but passengers were not able to disembark until 8:01 p.m., four hours and 32 minutes after landing.

The DOT found that the other eight Eagle flights that had tarmac delays were not violations because "they fell under exceptions to the rule."

American Eagle, which is owned by AMR Corp., said it has reached a settlement with the DOT over the violations.


“While these tarmac delays were the result of an exceptional weather event, American Eagle accepts full responsibility," the regional carrier said in a statement. "We have apologized to customers who were impacted by these delays and have put procedures into place to help better accommodate our customers when inclement weather occurs. The safety and well-being of those who fly with us is always our top priority and we regret the inconvenience caused to those whose travel plans were disrupted."


-Andrea Ahles


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