Delta Assessed Largest Fine In
History For A Non Safety Related Case
February 18, 2011 - The U.S. Department of
Transportation (DOT) on Thursday assessed a civil
penalty of $2 million against Delta Air Lines for
violating rules protecting air travelers with
This civil penalty is the largest penalty ever assessed
against an airline by the Department of Transportation
in a non-safety-related case.
?Ensuring that passengers with disabilities receive fair
treatment when they fly is a priority for the Department
of Transportation,? said U.S. Transportation Secretary
?We take our aviation disability rules seriously and
will continue to enforce them vigorously.?
requires airlines to provide assistance to passengers with
disabilities while boarding and deplaning aircraft, including
the use of wheelchairs, ramps, mechanical lifts and service
personnel where needed.
Carriers also must respond within 30 days to written complaints
about their treatment of disabled passengers, and specifically
address the issues raised in the complaints.
In addition, airlines must properly code and record their
disability-related complaints in connection with required
reporting to the Department.
investigation by the Department of Transportation?s Aviation
Enforcement Office of disability complaints filed with Delta and
DOT revealed many violations of the requirement to provide
assistance getting on and off the airplane.
carrier?s complaint files also showed that it frequently did not
provide an adequate written response to disability complaints
from passengers. The Aviation Enforcement Office further found
that Delta also failed to properly report each disability
complaint in reports filed with the Department.
Of the of $2 million penalty, $750,000 must be paid by the carrier and up to $1,250,000 may be used to improve its service to passengers with disabilities beyond what is required by law. Delta may target up to $834,000 of the civil penalty amount toward the development and implementation of an automated wheelchair tracking system at the carrier's major hub airports.
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