The DOT is increasing penalties for airlines failing to allow passengers to deboard during lengthy tarmac delays.
Airlines must return to the gate before sitting for 3 hours on the tarmac for domestic flights and before sitting for 4 hours on international flights.
American failed to do that on 43 flights between 2018-2021 and the DOT has fined them a record $2.05M for those failures. An additional fine of $2.05M was waived due to compensation provided to passengers on these and on other delayed flights.
Airlines must also provide food and water within 2 hours of departing the gate or landing, which American failed to do on at least 1 of those flights.
If you’re stuck on a flight with a lengthy delay, be sure you know your rights and ask for food and drinks or a return to the gate when required.