The 2016 holiday travel mess that left a dozen Frontier Airlines planes stuck on the tarmac for hours has come back to haunt the Denver airline as the U.S. Department of Transportation socked Frontier with a $1.5 million fine on Friday.
The airline violated the department’s rule prohibiting tarmac delays of more than three hours, according to the agency.
But of the fine, Frontier needs only to pay $600,000 because it compensated affected passengers on delayed flights, according to a DOT statement. Beyond the fine, the airline was ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations.
Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver said the airline revised policies shortly after the December incident, in which a winter storm forced the airline to cancel 275 flights nationwide.
Before its planes waiting on the tarmac reach the three-hour maximum, Frontier will work with Denver International Airport to pull the plane under the A bridge, or closest to the A concourse, and get stairs rolled out for passengers to deplane and get indoors.
“Frontier remains committed to complying with DOT rules and regulations, including those relating to lengthy tarmac delays,” Oliver said. “During last December’s crippling storm, our operation in Denver was faced with a myriad of operational challenges. We have since revised our procedures for irregular winter weather operations and have worked with DIA’s airport authority to implement a drop-and-go deplaning process that will prevent any future occurrences.”
According to the DOT, on Dec. 16 to 18, Frontier let 12 domestic flights sit on the tarmac for more than three hours without giving passengers the chance to deplane. Neither…
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