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American Eagle Fined $900,000 For Tarmac Delays  
User currently offlinejayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1027 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8040 times:


Washington: The Department of Transportation said Monday it has fined a regional affiliate of American Airlines $900,000 for keeping hundreds of passengers cooped up for hours on planes in Chicago earlier this year, a clear warning to airlines on the eve of the holiday travel season that similar incidents won't be tolerated.

American Eagle Airlines had tarmac delays of more than three hours on 15 flights arriving at O'Hare International Airport on May 29, the department said in a statement. A total of 608 passengers were aboard the delayed flights.

The airline must pay $650,000 of the fine within 30 days, the department said. But up to $250,000 can be credited for refunds, vouchers, and frequent flyer mile awards provided to the passengers on the 15 flights, as well as to passengers on future flights that violate the three-hour rule, the department said.

The department implemented a new rule in April 2010 limiting tarmac delays on domestic flights to three hours. After that, airlines must either return to a gate or provide passengers who wish to leave planes with some other means of safely getting off. Airlines that violate the rule can be fined as much as $27,500 per passenger.


http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/am...0-for-lengthy-tarmac-delays-149766

Another slap on AA's face?


Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5066 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7997 times:

Love to see what happens to B6 flight for the flight stuck at BDL for 7 hours last month.

User currently offlinenorcal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7873 times:

Quoting jayeshrulz (Thread starter):
Another slap on AA's face?

Slap on the wrist perhaps, if the DOT had followed this to the letter it would have been over a $10 million fine, probably a lot more.

This occurred because Eagle was trying a more efficient ramp staffing model (read less rampers) and they got backed up and unable to move airplanes. This isn't unique to AMR it happens at a lot of airlines (not this particular scenario but inefficiencies in the operation like this). When employees see stuff like this on a daily basis they are reluctant to give out concessions. There are millions in potential fuel savings alone if we never had to wait on rampers when we came to airports. When you multiply the fuel wasted by sitting short of a gate for a few minutes (even with only one engine running) across hundreds of flights a day it adds up.


User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1800 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7697 times:

What money will they be paying this fine with, exactly?

User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7428 times:

Eagle has plenty of unrestricted cash and from my understanding they budget a reserve amount for fines each year - I hope every airline does it, it would be nearly impossible to do everything correctly all the time in this industry.

User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5066 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7406 times:

Was the weather bad that day? I know that Chicago had a lot of storms in June and July, but I can't remember what the weather was like that day.

User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1763 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7396 times:

If the fines went to the passengers I bet they'd be in a lot better mood during those prolonged delays.


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7345 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7353 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 1):
Love to see what happens to B6 flight for the flight stuck at BDL for 7 hours last month.

This fine must be creating a lot of concern in the B6 headquarters.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4254 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7212 times:

While in general I don't like to see airlines fined, in the case of these 3+ hour hostage situations I think it is quite appropriate. Looking forward to the upcoming B6 BDL fine.

User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3049 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7140 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 7):
in the case of these 3+ hour hostage situations I think it is quite appropriate.

if a passenger(s) were to open the door and slide down the shute after x hours, what is the penalty they face in the US?



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineAcey559 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7110 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 3):

What money will they be paying this fine with, exactly?

While AA hasn't exactly been doing well as of late, I have been told by a number of people that MQ is indeed profitable and has a good amount of money in the bank (relative to our size).


User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6991 times:

AA has $5.1 Bn in unrestricted cash, and MQ is still wholly owned. MQ has a positive, profitable margin, yes. As I stated earlier, this fine was probably already accounted for.

User currently offlinenorcal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6801 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 5):

Nope. New "more efficient" ramp staffing model known as dynamic manning. Basically management somehow decided less rampers could somehow cover the ramp with zero delays. Big mistake.


User currently offlineadh214 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6661 times:

Quoting jayeshrulz (Thread starter):
A total of 608 passengers were aboard the delayed flights.

Wait a second 608 passengers held for at least 3 hours in an RJ and they ONLY get a $900,000 fine. My calculation shows $27,500 * 608 is $16,720,000. Why is the FAA not charging the full fine? Did some congressman make a phone call to the FAA?

I am sick of airlines holding passengers hostage. If you can't operate the flight (including disembarking at the destination) don't operate the flight.


User currently offlineMikeCT From United States of America, joined May 2008, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6617 times:

Quoting N62NA (Reply 8):
While in general I don't like to see airlines fined, in the case of these 3+ hour hostage situations I think it is quite appropriate. Looking forward to the upcoming B6 BDL fine.


Didn't it come out that B6 wasn't entirely responsible? One particular pilot was heard on the radio practically begging for a gate, stairs, anything.

That being said I don't know if it was ground handling that B6 was responsible for causing this problem, or the airport authority. If the airport was at fault here, I don't think the airline should be held responsible.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4254 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6566 times:

Quoting MikeCT (Reply 14):

Didn't it come out that B6 wasn't entirely responsible? One particular pilot was heard on the radio practically begging for a gate, stairs, anything.

Yeah, I listened to the tape. The captain also said something to the effect of "our company has abandoned us, anything you could do would be appreciated."


User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 632 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6527 times:

Quoting adh214 (Reply 13):
Why is the FAA not charging the full fine? Did some congressman make a phone call to the FAA?

Its not the FAA, its the DOT.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4254 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6431 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 6):
If the fines went to the passengers I bet they'd be in a lot better mood during those prolonged delays.

I missed that first time around. I agree! Too bad the law wasn't written so that the actual hostages got the money.


User currently offlineaerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 6900 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5869 times:

Quoting adh214 (Reply 13):
I am sick of airlines holding passengers hostage. If you can't operate the flight (including disembarking at the destination) don't operate the flight.

Airlines are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

If Airlines operate the flight, which then gets held on the ramp they are fined, if they don't operate the flight or return to gate to allow passengers off then the passengers will still complain and they still have to compensate the passengers anyway

Add any civil suits for not getting the passengers where they need for the holidays/business appointments etc. In other words the flight becomes completely unsustainable and unprofitable to operate because the costs are worth much more than the revenue of operating the route at certain tumultuous times of the year.

What the rules should require from the airlines is that they issue a warning at check in/before boarding that there may be weather related gate delays of xxx hours and anyone wishing to offload themselves for rebooking on another flight now can do so free of charge and that by boarding you waive the right to compensation if the flight is within the delay time specified by the airline and DOT.

Besides, Airports are the ones who control the infrastructure ultimately and it is their airport planning that has failed. If you travel to a properly designed airport in most parts of the world, they have far more gates than they do flights, plenty of airstairs, buses and enough space to store extra aircraft safely without stuffing up the operation too much. This is where things can be fixed, not this punitive damages nonsense. If airports cannot increase these requirements then they should have to reduce movements at the airport until they get to a figure that allows them to provide the required percentage of surplus facilities without expanding.

Obviously the increased cost to Airports should be passed on to airlines and passengers ultimately, as it is for them that they would be providing the service. User pays, and air travel is still unsustainably cheap.

Either Passengers should suck it up and accept it as a compromise in order to get lower fares, or pay the extra cost on fares to get the facilities they demand. In much of the third world, long hours aboard crowded transport is commonplace and perfectly acceptable - Passengers who know the way things are, know they won't be fed etc should always be looking after themselves by bringing their own rations anyway, and they are just as negligent as the airlines for not preparing adequately IMO.


User currently offlineJpax From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5773 times:

Quoting MikeCT (Reply 14):
I am sick of airlines holding passengers hostage. If you can't operate the flight (including disembarking at the destination) don't operate the flight.


We can't foresee how big of a sh*tshow a day can turn into. We board our planes and push off the gate in hopes to get out of limbo. As an EWR based pilot, I'm a frequent visitor of the ballpark/penalty box/dog house/etc. If there are no gates, there are no gates. If there is no equipment to assist you, there is no equipment to assist you. Despite everyone's best efforts, sometimes the fury of mother nature overwhelms an airport and everybody loses. The most you can do is try make the best of a bad situation. Keep yourself hydrated, have a snack if possible, put on your iPod, and we'll keep you updated from up front, even if that means there is no news.

[Edited 2011-11-14 16:09:49]

User currently offlinespyglass From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 109 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5603 times:

The obvious answer is to add several dozen gates at the big hubs to be used solely for weather delays, spend a few millions on extra tugs, bag carts, busses and emergency situation personnel to handle this. If you could stop time and keep the ensuing flights & pax from continuing to show at the airport, and the planes didn't hafta be somewhere else to operate more flts, it'd be easy. But it's like waves to the shore....the flow never stops, even if the flts do.

The anathema in all this is, as mentioned, that the "government" gets the fines, and no entity on earth is more fiscally foolish than the US govt and its branches. Better if it went to the pax....


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7276 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5548 times:

People are such babies sometimes. If sitting 3 hours in a plane is "being held hostage" your life if probably wayyyyy to pampered...


Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineJpax From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5548 times:

Quoting spyglass (Reply 20):
The obvious answer is to add several dozen gates at the big hubs

Obvious answer until you find out there is no room for a few extra gates, nonetheless several dozen.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 6996 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5498 times:

Quoting adh214 (Reply 13):
Wait a second 608 passengers held for at least 3 hours in an RJ and they ONLY get a $900,000 fine. My calculation shows $27,500 * 608 is $16,720,000. Why is the FAA not charging the full fine? Did some congressman make a phone call to the FAA?

You can't be serious? These fines are dumb and insane enough. 16,720,000 for that would never hold up in court anyway.

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 18):
What the rules should require from the airlines is that they issue a warning at check in/before boarding that there may be weather related gate delays of xxx hours and anyone wishing to offload themselves for rebooking on another flight now can do so free of charge and that by boarding you waive the right to compensation if the flight is within the delay time specified by the airline and DOT.

Great idea. I think it is insane that the airlines are getting fined with trying to provide a service. I also think it is insane since the government (county,state,federal) are the ones who control the airports to begin with. Maybe if the FAA would update their ATC system already the delays would not be so long. Airlines will just have to start canceling more flights that might get to their destinations if these outrageous fines continue. And of course than the airline loses again, angry passengers. It is a lose lose for airlines.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineT5towbar From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 508 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5417 times:

Quoting spyglass (Reply 20):
The obvious answer is to add several dozen gates at the big hubs to be used solely for weather delays, spend a few millions on extra tugs, bag carts, busses and emergency situation personnel to handle this. If you could stop time and keep the ensuing flights & pax from continuing to show at the airport, and the planes didn't hafta be somewhere else to operate more flts, it'd be easy. But it's like waves to the shore....the flow never stops, even if the flts do.

That won't work. You can't designate gates because there isn't enough of them in the first place. No one wants to be held hostage, but on weather days, things happen. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Airstairs are the same. You have to worry about lawsuits if someone slips down an icy step. Also people watch the news and the airline is saying that the flight is still going out on time. It's a crapshoot when you get there and find that the flight is delayed and may or may not fly out. So what does a pax do?

Quoting Jpax (Reply 19):
As an EWR based pilot, I'm a frequent visitor of the ballpark/penalty box/dog house/etc. If there are no gates, there are no gates.

The Ball Park really gets filled up fast on weather days. Most of the deicing is done there, I think. They don't want to block the alleyways. And its a crazy situation on the ramp on weather days too.

Quoting norcal (Reply 12):
Nope. New "more efficient" ramp staffing model known as dynamic manning. Basically management somehow decided less rampers could somehow cover the ramp with zero delays. Big mistake.

Sounds like the old "staff management" we used to have. Some suit upstairs thinks up this stuff and it never works. Granted we do a lot with less, but when the delays start racking up because we are short, then the idiots upstairs figures it out.



A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
25 fat-g4 : I would pull the slide after sitting on the Tarmac for 3 hours. Let alone 7. Do everyone a favor!
26 C680 : Or a handful of stairs and busses, a snowplow, and couple of big guys to carry handicaped down the stairs....
27 N62NA : Just curious... about what % of the time do you visit the penalty box (both at EWR and at the originating airport when flying into EWR).
28 thrufru : Funny you should say that. A direct result of these new rules as reported by NBC news this evening (among other sources) is a significant increase in
29 norcal : Those slides probably cost close to half a million each to reinstall not mention lost time and revenue in mx. Plus a passenger could break a leg or i
30 aerorobnz : Not to mention in breach of FAA law, so there would be a major fine/prison time and some serious time on the passenger blacklist if the airline pushe
31 okie : Well I can just tell you that for someone that spends considerable time in the air that generally speaking the airlines are doing a pretty good job.
32 T5towbar : Exactly. You will see tons of cancellations. The past couple of snowstorms earlier this year (and Xmas of last year) showed that. Better to pre-cance
33 rfields5421 : The fine amount is UP TO $27,500 per passenger. It is not a set in stone amount. The authorities are able to make the fine amount based on several fa
34 Post contains links and images Mir : You seem to be under the assumption that airlines send flights out knowing that they're not going to have to sit on the ground for hours on end. But
35 N62NA : Not me. There's got to be a better system than finding out within minutes of departure - after everyone is sitting on the plane - that there's going
36 fat-g4 : I remember a flight in June, from MCO to DFW there was a delay after we already started taxing because of military activity over the gulf. Had it real
37 Mir : First of all, the delays mentioned in the article are arrival delays, which are a different story. Second of all, I doubt the airline would have boar
38 N62NA : This happens all the time with AA at MIA on flights to LGA and EWR. I've lived it. I guess that's the thinking but you still sit out there midfield a
39 Mir : I'm not saying it doesn't happen - I live in NYC, I know it can be difficult sometimes to get in. I'm saying that AA (or any other airline) doesn't l
40 N770WD : DOT says they can fine up to $27,500 per passenger. But it's very debatable whether they can. As DOT said on Monday in the consent order with America
41 NorthstarBoy : Just curious, do E145s come with built in air stairs? If so, why not use them to get the pax off and have the flight attendants/pilots/rampers walk th
42 rfields5421 : Some do and some don't. American / American Eagle have been moving toward no air stairs because they like to board the CRJ and ERJ aircraft at jetway
43 jfklganyc : Eagle RJs have no stairs built in
44 N62NA : And those operational reasons may be not the most ideal in the eyes of the hostage, er, passenger. Yeah, I know. It's "delay roulette."
45 Post contains images rcair1 : Your money - either from ticket sales or gov'mt bailouts. Oh no - this is Obama (or fill in the current head of state) money. Of course - the 'credit
46 Post contains images jpax : Yup, The C guys head over to the ballpark. A and B ops have their own place to do it. It varies greatly, couldn't put a percentage on it. Getting out
47 N62NA : It's hard to put a dollar amount on how much one's time is worth, especially in a hostage situation. But I do think that instead of the money going t
48 Post contains images DeltaMD90 : This rule also causes very stupid situations. My dad is a DL 757/767 captain and he runs into this rule sometimes. I forgot the exact details, and I m
49 N62NA : That's actually good - I'm glad he did that.
50 ouboy79 : It really comes down to not releasing flights if there is a high risk of no gate being available with in an hour of its arrival. If the flight is hel
51 Post contains images DeltaMD90 : Give me a break. I mean as an A.netter it would be cool, but an unscheduled diversion? How is that better for people? What is so horrific about being
52 cmf : Without drinks and working toilets it is intolerable. With it, I would be OK. This really is the core of the problem. The priorities of the airline h
53 N62NA : Yep. See ouboy79 quoted below. I love flying and airplanes. I HATE sitting on an airplane that pushed back 90 minutes ago and is still on the ground
54 N1120A : The airline was at least partially at fault. That is why the fines are discretionary. The FAA is part of the DOT. Sure it would. Well, they aren't re
55 ckfred : I just did some looking, and it turns out that Chicago did have strong storms on May 29. According to the website for the CBS affiliate in Chicago, ov
56 slcdeltarumd11 : I guess every case is different. From a quick glance it almost seems unfair for eagle to get this large of a fine and B6 to not given how much longer
57 44k : I remember this day well. ORD got hit with thunderstorms during afternoon/early evening, which resulted in a multiple diversions, some of them to my
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