JetBlue Fined $600,000 Over Disability, Code-Share Rules

Reuters

JetBlue Airways was fined $600,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday for violating rules protecting travelers with disabilities and for failing to disclose when flights it sold were operating under a code-sharing agreement with another carrier.

The DOT said in a statement that $350,000 of the civil fine must be paid by the airline and up to $250,000 can be used to improve service to the disabled beyond what the law requires.

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"The DOT's decision serves as an important reminder for us to continuously improve our service," Bryan Baldwin, JetBlue corporate communications manager, said in an email. "We're committed to ensuring all customers are provided a respectful, accommodating and enjoyable experience."

The U.S. transportation agency said complaints showed JetBlue violated a requirement to provide disabled passengers with assistance while they were boarding and leaving planes.

The agency also said calls made to JetBlue's reservation line found the New York-based discount airline did not disclose that some flights were being operated by a code-share affiliate. Under code-sharing pacts, a carrier will sell tickets on flights that are operated by a different airline.

JetBlue shares were up 0.9 percent at $6.81 in afternoon trading.