The U.S. Transportation Department has fined American Airlines a record-matching $1.6 million for violating a rule that prohibits long tarmac delays, REUTERS reports.
The department said it found American had allowed a number of domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without allowing passengers an opportunity to get off the plane. The fine matched the amount that was assessed against Southwest Airlines in 2015 for violating the same rule.
American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the company was pleased to have resolved the issue. “It’s worth noting that a large portion of the settlement is related to a winter weather event that occurred nearly four years ago in Charlotte,” he said.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement the “tarmac rule is meant to prevent passengers from being trapped in aircraft on the ground for hours on end.”