Airline fined $225,000 after police free passengers from plane
The US Department of Transportation issued a fine German airline Eurowings $225,000 for an incident that happened in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, four years ago. transatlantic flights are uncomfortable experiences at their core. Economy class passengers must spend at least a third of their day in a cramped seat, shoulder to shoulder. Now imagine crossing the ocean and spending another five and a half hours stuck in a plane while it’s parked on the runway..
In case you lost it:
In July 2019, Eurowings Flight EW1182 was traveling from Dusseldorf Airport in Germany to Miami International Airport. Due to weather-related closures, Eurowings aircraft A330 was forced to divert to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The A330 landed at 5:14 p.m. local time and was parked at a remote location after a 10 hour flight and 30 minute wait with the hope of landing in Miami.
The Eurowings crew requested to disembark the passengers and drive them to the terminal by bus, but were unable to accommodate the request. US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) request to do so. CBP requires checked baggage to be unloaded if passengers wish to disembark, but no ground staff is available to unload them. The passengers were trapped on the plane.
Two hours later, the ground handlers finally showed up. However, the crew of Eurowings refused to let the passengers off the plane and asked to fly to Miami. The aircraft A330 sat on the tarmac for another three and a half hours until Eurowings was informed that Miami International Airport remained closed due to bad weather conditions.
G/O Media can receive commission
That’s when the passenger, restless and fed up with the situation, called the local police. With police assistance, the 268 passengers of the last flight disembarked at 10:50 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale.
In response to this week’s fine from the US Department of Transportation, Eurowings announced that it does not operate regularly scheduled services out of Fort Lauderdale, only diverting there as a last resort and no necessary services there for the flight there. question. The German airline felt that the delay on the runway was caused by forces beyond its control and that it should not be penalized.