News In Brief

Better sorry than safe?

Christina Huh Sep 24, 2010

You might remember the airlines are under new rules limiting tarmac delays to three hours, before passengers have to be allowed to de-plane. United Airlines had a couple of delays that ran more than three hours in May, and it reported them to the Transportation Department. Thing is, the carrier followed the rules, offered to let passengers disembark, but got hit with a $12,000 fine anyway. That’s because the report wasn’t necessary. DOT’s consent order explains it this way: “United’s misreporting of this data wasted valuable Department resources.” So much for “better safe than sorry.”

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