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U.S. Department of Transportation Fines Qantas for Not Informing Passengers of Opportunity to Leave Delayed Aircraft

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that Qantas Airways, an airline based in Australia, 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 $90,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.

News Digest DOT 09-14

DOT Report Finds Rule Prohibiting Tarmac Delays Over Three Hours Has Virtually Eliminated Long Tarmac Delays, Has Little Effect on Cancellations.  The U.S. Department of Transportation today released a report which found that its consumer protection rule prohibiting tarmac delays over three hours has both virtually eliminated tarmac delays of more than three hours and significantly reduced tarmac delays that are between one and three hours long.  In addition, there was relatively little impact on flight cancellations.  The rule prohibits U.S.

October Airline Service Improved from Previous Year in all Major Categories

WASHINGTON – In October, airlines improved their on-time performance while posting a lower rate of canceled flights and mishandled baggage than the same period in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report released today.   In addition, airlines reported no long tarmac delays or chronically late flights for two consecutive months or more, and consumers filed fewer complaints with DOT about airline service.

News Digest (DOT 101-13)

Consumers Cautioned on Air Tours to College Bowl Games. The U.S. Department of Transportation today reminded air travelers going to this season’s college football bowl games that a company marketing an air tour package that includes game tickets must have the tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets before advertising the tour. If a travel agent or other tour representative states that a game ticket is included, the consumer should require at the time of purchase that the game ticket be presented or a written confirmation for the ticket be provided.

With DOT assistance, JFK Eternal Flame arrives in Ireland

Under normal circumstances, transporting a lighted torch aboard a commercial aircraft is not permitted. It's the kind of thing DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would have serious concerns with for obvious safety reasons.

But sharing the JFK Eternal Flame with Ireland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s first-ever visit to Ireland by a U.S. president is not a normal circumstance.

Photo of flame leaving JFK Airport for Ireland

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