U.S. Fines Southwest Airlines Record $1.6M for Runway Delays

The U.S. government on Thursday fined Southwest Airlines Co. $1.6 million in what it said was the biggest civil penalty levied against an airline for violating rules barring long waits for passengers in planes on the runway, Reuters reported. The Transportation Department said Southwest had failed to abide by the rules last January when 16 of its aircraft were delayed on the tarmac at Chicago Midway International Airport. Southwest blamed severe weather, which it said hampered its efforts in the incident. "We are disappointed that the government would seek additional money, after the enormous penalties imposed on Southwest by Mother Nature during the January 2014 winter storms," the airline said.

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