U.S. Department of Transportation (usually just referred as DOT) this week released four enforcement orders against foreign airlines with penalties.
Norwegian Air Shuttle was trying to claim increased taxes from passengers that had already purchased tickets, Qantas was blamed with cabotage associated with its JFK-LAX flight, ANA exceeded the four hour tarmac rule due to diversion and Copa failed to provide food and working lavatories during long tarmac delay.
You can access DOT’s page for enforcement orders here.
Norwegian Air Shuttle
Norwegian government had enacted new tax that was roughly $9. The airline had sent our emails to passengers that had already purchased tickets and demanded passengers to pay this amount or.
Post purchase price increases are in violation of DOT rules. DOT accessed $100,000 in civil penalties.
Qantas operates JFK-LAX flight but is only allowed to sell tickets on this service to those passengers that are continuing on its services. Non-revenue passengers are supposedly also allowed on this flight.
Qantas had sold tickets on its codeshare flights to Papeete and Auckland from JFK. Flights from Los Angeles to Auckland and Papeete and Auckland were QF coded but operated by other airlines. This is in violation on cabotage rules. The airline was assessed $125,000 in civil penalties.
ANA (All Nippon Airways)
This is quite tricky situation for the airline. The airline had to divert the plane to Dulles due to weather situation in New York. If any passenger would have deplaned in Dulles, ANA would have needed to clear all passengers and baggage in the destination and the crew would have timed out.
The airline eventually had to cancel the flight and deplane everyone in Dulles anyway due to crew rest requirements. This after over four hour delay. DOT assessed $90,000 in civil penalties
Copa flight from Panama to Los Angeles had to diver to Ontario (ONT – East of LA) due to bad weather. The delay was more than two hours during which the crew didn’t feed passengers and the lavatories were nonfunctional. DOT assessed $25,000 in penalties.
DOT has gone easy on domestic airlines as of late but seems that foreign carriers and their different case.
You have to remember that these penalties are basically halved and only paid in full if they break same rules again within set period of times (unlikely).