U.S. fines American Airlines $1.6 million for violating tarmac delay rule

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An American Airlines Boeing 757 aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen (Copyright Reuters 2016)

American Airlines will pay a record-matching $1.6 million fine for violating a rule that prohibits long tarmac delays, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Wednesday.

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The department said it found American had allowed a number of domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without allowing passengers an opportunity to deplane. The fine matched the amount that was assessed against Southwest Airlines in 2015 for violating the same rule.

(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann, editing by G Crosse)