Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation fined American Airlines and Delta Airlines on Thursday for violating laws on how long planes can sit on tarmacs with passengers aboard.
American Airlines must pay $1 million for violating the federal rule on 10 domestic and three international flights between December 2015 and January 2017, and Delta must pay $750,000 for violating the rule 11 times between January 2017 and February 2018.
Under the federal statute, domestic aircraft with 30 or more passengers may not sit on the tarmac for more than 3 hours without allowing passengers to leave the plane. The maximum amount of time an international flight can sit on the tarmac is 4 hours.
The airlines will each use $450,000 of the fines they pay to compensate the passengers on board the flights that violated the rule. Delta also will use some of the funds to establish a backup data center and an automated aircraft-parking guidance and jet-bridge positioning system.