Toyota says it will be paying out a record $17.35 million — the maximum fine allowably by law — after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the company had delayed reporting a safety defect to the government. It’s the highest single civil penalty that’s ever been paid to the NHTS Afor violations that are a result of a recall. [More]
Know your rights, airplane passengers! If you’re stuck at the gate waiting to take off, you do not have to just sit there and take it, according to the Department of Transportation’s rules. JetBlue is on the line for $90,000 after failing to inform passengers that they were allowed to get off a plane stuck at the gate for hours at John F. Kennedy Airport in March. [More]
TripAdvisor has fallen afoul of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s rule about fare advertising, resulting in a fine of $80,000. The rule went into effect in January, and stated that ticket agents and airlines must display fares as the total of what a consumer will pay, taxes and fees included. [More]
As the evidence piles up showing that teens are still distracted behind the wheel to an unsafe degree, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has introduced a new initiative aimed at ending the dangerous habits of texting or emailing while driving. [More]
Starting August 23rd, airlines were supposed to start being more upfront on their websites about the fees they charge you. Guess what? They didn’t. [More]
Looks like cigarette smokers will have to keep furiously chewing nicotine gum on U.S. flights, as the Department of Transportation has said “nope, not gonna do it,” to allowing smokeless electronic cigarettes on airplanes. [More]
People are so insistent on driving while using their cell phones that only death in a car accident will stop them from doing so. Spurred by the prevalence of fatal accidents caused by distracted drivers — 5,500 last year — the government is mulling over the concept of using technology to force drivers to put down their phones. [More]
Remember how airlines threatened to cancel a mess of flights if the Department of Transportation imposed fines for holding planes on the tarmac for more than three hours? Well, the DOT imposed the rule and it looks like airlines are coping just fine. The Wall Street Journal examined recently released data and found that the most probable explanation for the slight jump in cancellations is a combination of weather and shoddy maintenance. [More]
Just when it looked like all the crusaders who want to get peanuts banned from flights were inching closer to epic victory, along comes a federal law to crack their shells. [More]
Airlines routinely overbook passengers, resulting in passengers getting bumped and having their travel plans disrupted. Currently, you can get the full ticket price if you are bumped, or 2x the ticket if you’re not provided alternative transportation within a certain time frame to the next stop, up to a certain cap level. Newly proposed regulations would increase the amount passengers could get, but it’s not as simple as that. Airline expert Elliott has delved into the report to find out what’s being proposed: [More]
For anyone who has ever been put off by an airline’s overly complicated explanation of their already cryptic fare schedule, there might be a slight, sweet taste of vengeance in this news: The Dept. of Transportation just slapped US Airways with a $40,000 fine for not disclosing their full ticket prices on their Web site. [More]
Airlines must let passengers stuck in airplanes stranded on the tarmac get off after 3 hours, the Transportation Department today ordered. They’re also now only allowed to starve you for 2 hours, after which they must serve pizza or a reasonable facsimile. Toilets must be functional during the entire time as well. [More]
Back in August, Continental and its partner, ExpressJet kept 47 passengers, including some babies, on a plane for 11 hours with only some pretzels to eat. A few days later, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that he was looking in to the issue. Last week, the DOT announced that the Aviation Enforcement Office (AEO) had fined Continental Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines $100,000 for their involvement in the incident. [More]
The United States Department of Transportation has finally warned airlines: Most people don’t like to go for more than 24 hours without brushing their teeth and changing their underwear.
The Department of Transportation smacked Delta with a $375,000 fine for ignoring federal laws that require airlines to offer bumped passengers adequate compensation and an explanation of their rights. Inside, a listing of your options if an airline tries to bump you off their flight…
Claiming it had better things to do, the Department of Transportation issued only $1.2 million in airline fines last year, even as consumer complaints over fees and delays continued to rise. Five years ago, the agency issued over $8 million in fines, but now, they say they’re too busy working on “consumer rulemaking” and “consumer forums” to ensure that airlines honor consumer protection laws.