WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – A major airline is facing a big fine for keeping passengers on the tarmac for hours on end.
The U.S. Department of Transportation fined American Airlines $1.6 million for violating the department’s rule prohibiting long tarmac delays.
An investigation found that in 2013 and 2015, American Airlines allowed 20 domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without providing passengers an opportunity to deplane.
According to department of transportation guidelines, airlines can keep passengers on the tarmac for no more than three hours, but passengers 22News spoke with at Bradley International Airport said three hours is far too long.
“I would say anything over 30 minutes in unacceptable in today’s world. We really have enough technology to avoid such delays. Now there will be exceptions, obviously, if there’s a very awkward weather situation that develops, alright we can accept that,” said Paul Bryant of Connecticut.
“I would say less than an hour, most certainly if you know that the plane is going to be delayed, it’s not trying to push the envelope. If you will see if we can get out on the tarmac and then wait as long as we can, if you know we’re going to be delayed, stay at the gate,” said Charlie Gepharp of Connecticut.
U.S. airlines must provide passengers with food and water once you have been delayed two hours on the tarmac.
While the aircraft remains on the tarmac, bathrooms must remain open and medical attention must be available if needed.