The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Japan Airlines (JAL) $300,000 for violating the tarmac rule of requiring passenger to depart or deplane by the 4-hour mark in case of irregular operations.
JAL violated delay on tarmac rule twice in 2018, in both incidents passengers were kept in the plane for more the 4 hours.
A consent order released on 12 September says “JAL flight JL004, which departed Tokyo-Narita International Airport (NRT) bound for JFK, experienced a tarmac delay of 4 hours and 31 minutes when it diverted to ORD on January 4, 2018”
In the second incident was at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), “JAL Flight JL004 departed from NRT bound for JFK on May 15, 2018, but was unable to land at JFK due to severe thunderstorm activity in the New York metro area. As a result, Flight 004 diverted to IAD to refuel in anticipation of heading to JFK when the weather improved. Fueling commenced approximately 3 hours and 24 minutes into the delay, but 4 hours and 4 minutes into the delay, while Flight 004 was still in the process of receiving fuel, the crew onboard Flight JL004 timed out. Flight JL004 requested deplaning assistance and passengers were provided the opportunity to deplane the aircraft onto a mobile lounge 4 hours and 59 minutes into the delay.”
In both instance, JAL violated 14 CFR 259.4 and 49 U.S.C. § 41712 when it failed to provide passengers an opportunity to deplane by the required four-hour mark.
JAL agreed to the fine to avoid litigation, but that the airline disagrees with the Enforcement Office’s determination that penalties for excessive tarmac delays may be assessed on a per-passenger basis.