Air India Fined After Violating 'Tarmac Rules'

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) slapped India's national carrier Air India with a civil penalty of $80,000 for failure to comply with rules concerning extended delays on airport runways. You may recall that the DOT imposed the 'tarmac rules' on foreign airlines with at least 30 seats in August, 2011 to prevent passengers from being stuck on planes in which takeoffs were delayed. U.S. carries have been covered by this requirement since April, 2010.

Air India was fined for "for failing to post customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans on its website as well as failing to adequately inform passengers about its optional fees." It is the first airliner to be fined under the tarmac rules.

Since August, 2011, all carriers with a website that sells tickets to consumers in the United States must include on their homepages a prominent link that takes consumers to a page showing all fees for optional services for carrier charges, including baggage fees. The airlines must also adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays as well as customer service plans and post them to the website.

Air India failed to post customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans and to provide a link to its optional fees on its website by the required date.

The DOT vows to continually monitor carriers for compliance with these rules.