U.S. Department of Transportation Fines Air China for Violating Tarmac Delay Rule
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today said that Air China violated federal rules last July by not making announcements every 30 minutes to passengers on an aircraft delayed at New York’s JFK International Airport that they had an opportunity to leave the plane as it sat at the gate with the door open. DOT fined Air China $90,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.
“Airline passengers have rights, including the right to be informed that they can leave a plane that is facing long delays at the gate,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Our tarmac rules are meant to protect passengers from being stuck on grounded aircraft for hours on end, and we will continue to work with airlines and airports to make sure that travelers are treated with the respect they deserve before, during, and after their flights.”
Air China Flight 982 was scheduled to fly from JFK to Beijing Capital International Airport on July 15, 2012. The plane sat at the gate from 6:40 p.m. to 8:26 p.m. with the door open, but Air China failed to make the required announcements. The aircraft did not take off for Beijing until 10:51 p.m.
The consent order is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004.