United Airlines fined 2.75 million for neglecting disabled passengers, after more complaints have been filed as well as for excessive tarmac delays.
According to the Department of Transportation the number of complaints filed by disabled passengers has been higher than ever during 2015, accusing the company of neglecting their special needs.
The investigation revealed that United Airlines wasn’t properly helping disabled passengers on and of the planes and they were not making a priority from returning their wheelchairs and other devices.
Besides that, the company has kept passengers longer than the limit of three hours inside the planes during ground delays not giving them the permission to leave the aircraft on six different instances. Five of the delays occurred on December 8, 2013, at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and the sixth one on May 20, 2015 at the Houston Hobby Airport.
Anthony Foxx, the Secretary of the Transportation Department declared that it is the department’s duty to make sure that these violations of the transportation rules won’t happen again.
However, the United Airlines was allowed to spend $650,000 of the $2 million disability-fine to improve its audits of wheelchair vendors and also to develop an app that would speed up the assistance provided for people with special needs. Besides that, the company received credit for the $650,000 paid to customers in disability-related claims.
The remaining $700,000 of the fine has to be paid by United Airlines within 30 days. The mobile app and the other steps for improving the assistance to passengers with special needs have to be completed by September 1, 2017.
The Department of Transportation said that of the $750,000 tarmac-delay fine the United Airlines will have to use $375,000 to buy the equipment they need to allow their planes reach the gates in poor weather conditions.
United Airlines said in a blog post that they were already doing more to help their special needs passengers, being committed to meet all the rules imposed by the Department of Transportation. The company also said it is their main priority to make sure that all their passengers have equal access to services.
Regarding the flight delays the company said in a statement that during the past few months it recorded improved on-time statistics as it uses new updated technology.
United Airline has been declared one of the twenty safest airlines in the world for 2016 by airlinerating.com.
Image source: pixabay