At least one airline is getting its comeuppance for those hours-long, pre-liftoff runway waits that have passengers scratching their heads while they sit on the tarmac. On May 29 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, a "total of 15 planes, carrying 608 passengers, were stuck on the tarmac for three hours or more" because of bad weather, reports the Los Angeles Times. For that, the offending airline -- American Eagle Airlines, a regional carrier for American Airlines -- was fined $900,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday. This marks the first time an airline has fined under what most call "tarmac delay rule" -- active since April 2010 -- which prohibits large commercial jets from keeping passengers on the runway for an extended period of time (three hours for domestic flights, four hours for international ones). "As part of a settlement with regulators, American Eagle was ordered to refrain from future violations of the rule limiting ground delays to three hours, and was instructed to use more than a quarter of the fine to compensate passengers," Reuters reports. That's a bit better than the usual stale bag of peanuts airlines give away.
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