United Airlines Paid Hefty $2.7 Million For Not Following Consumer Rules
United Airlines is currently slapped with a fine amounting to $2.7 million by federal transportation authorities for breaching government rules that protect passengers with disabilities and preventing long delays at the tarmac.
"It is our duty to ensure that travelers with disabilities have access to the services they need and that when significant tarmac delays happen, travelers are not left on the plane", remarked U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx as quoted saying by Voice Herald.
According to Chicago Sun-Times, the decision came about after the government observed a dramatic rise in passenger complaints in 2014 over the apparent failure of the said airline company to offer disabled passengers disability-related services to ease their mobility.
A number of disabled travelers were said to have experienced unnecessary inconvenience and difficulty in getting on and off the plane. Some complained of the instances where airline staff damaged or even failed to promptly return their passengers' wheel chairs and other similar devices.
After a careful review of United Airlines operations at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Houston International Airport, Newark International Airport, and Washington's Dulles International Airport, the Transportation Department upheld their decision to fine the company.
In addition, officials also cited five days of lengthy tarmac delays at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on December 8, 2013 and another one at Houston Hobby Airport on May 20, 2015.
In their defense, United maintained that it is in their best interest to follow all the rules set by transportation regulators especially during difficult operating conditions.
Also, the company also expected that complaints over disabled passengers' welfare shall improve their ability to provide mobility devices like wheelchairs promptly to customers who are in need of such as mentioned in a report by My San Antonio.