USA: DOT fines Qantas for not informing passengers of opportunity to leave delayed aircraft

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that Qantas Airways violated federal rules last March by not informing passengers on a delayed aircraft at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport that they had the opportunity to leave the plane as it sat at the gate for an extended period of time with the door open.  DOT fined Qantas USD 90,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.

DOT rules prohibit airlines from allowing their aircraft to remain on the tarmac for over 3 hours for domestic flights, and for over four hours for international flights without giving passengers an opportunity to deplane.  Qantas violated a provision of the DOT’s airline consumer protection rule 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 come 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time and every 30 minutes afterward.

Source: DOT press release 07-14 of January 15, 2014

Consent order available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2014-0001

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