This is the first penalty assessed for a violation of the Department's new airline consumer rules that took effect last August. "Our new airline consumer rules help ensure that passengers are fully informed about airline services and fees and what to expect if their flight is delayed on the tarmac," US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said yesterday.
From August 2011, foreign carriers operating to the US with at least one aircraft of 30 or more seats have been required to adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays as well as customer service plans, and to post these plans on their websites.
US carriers have been covered by this requirement since April 2010, the Department of Transportation said in a statement. Also both US carriers and foreign carriers with a website that sells tickets to US consumers have been required to include on their homepages a prominent hyperlink that takes viewers directly to a page that shows all fees for optional services the carrier charges, including baggage fees. Air India failed to post its customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans and to provide a link to its optional fees by the required date, the statement added.