United fined $130,000 for not letting passengers off plane

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by MrAOK, Feb 11, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MrAOK
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    MrAOK Silver Member

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    U.S. Department of Transportation Fines United for Violating Tarmac Delay Rule
    Dept of Transportation news release:
    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today said United Air Lines violated federal rules last May by not informing passengers on an aircraft delayed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport that they had an opportunity to leave the plane as it sat at the gate with the door open. DOT fined United $130,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.
    United violated a provision of the DOT’s airline consumer protection rule, which took effect in August 2011, requiring that if passengers on a delayed flight have the opportunity to leave the aircraft, the carrier must inform them that they can deplane. Announcements that passengers can leave the plane must be made 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time and every 30 minutes afterward.
    “It’s very simple – if a plane is delayed at the gate and it’s possible for passengers to leave, the airline must tell them of their rights,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We adopted our tarmac delay rules to protect passengers’ rights and will continue to take enforcement action when necessary.”
    United Flight 881 was scheduled to fly from O’Hare to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport on May 7, 2012. The aircraft was pushed back at 12:38 p.m. but returned to a gate at 2:25 for maintenance, at which time the doors were opened.
    However, United failed to make an announcement notifying passengers of that opportunity to leave the plane as required by DOT’s rules. The aircraft doors were closed again at 3:10, but because of another mechanical problem the flight was canceled and passengers deplaned at 5:22 p.m. Three passengers on board the flight filed complaints with the Department’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division regarding this delay.
    The consent order is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004.
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  2. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    If this is what is suppose to happen with delays at the gate, then UA is still not following this DOT rule. I was on a delayed UA flight last week which lasted 1.5 hours (mech) and no announcement was made. No one got bent out of shape about it (although I do not know, for someone could have filed a complaint).

    Announcements have to be made every 30 minutes in the delay :confused:. There are some rules mandated by the DOT that are made to be violated (willfully or not). I guess it is a way to generate revenue for the DOT so that they can make more rules and regulations.:oops: and generate more income so that they can make more rules.............
     
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  3. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    $130,000 to an agency that has a FY2012 budget of $129 billion is nothing.
     
  4. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    This is how every level of government works, unfortunately. :(:mad::confused:
     
  5. P.S.

    P.S. Silver Member

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    On an outbound international flight, can you really let people get off the plane that easily? There are foreigners that have surrendered their I-94s upon boarding and may not have the right to come back to the US. There are pax that have boarded with their duty free purchases, and have no right to come back to the US with those items without going through US Customs. I can see how it would be difficult to legally let people leave the aircraft.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Good point. Presumably you'd not go straight back into the terminal, but rather into the immigrations hall?
     
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  7. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    The airline is just keeping the I-94s until they hand them over to immigration. If pax haven't left the US then there is nothing wrong in giving them back their I-94.
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    But do they have a process for actually accomplishing that? Wouldn't surprise me if the GA's walk away with the I-94 once the aircraft leaves the gate.
     
  9. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    Any way to file a complaint against Emirates? Our plane sat in DXB for 4 hours with doors open but passengers were not allowed to deplane.
     
  10. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    Does not sound like DOT jurisdiction. I would be surprised if Dubai has a similar rule.
     
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  11. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I wish there was some organization with jurisdiction
     
  12. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    I think we might just have to get a Dubai Convention going to get to the bottom of this (We have the Montreal and Warsaw convention but we need more rights as passengers these days). ;)
     
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  13. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    :)
     

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