You’d think that if a company self-reported a potential problem and then found out that they didn’t, in fact, break any rules, that the department responsible for regulating that industry would be happy to find out there were no problems and they could go on about their merry little way. But, it’s government, so you know that’s just not going to happen.
Common sense seems to have been banned from the building at the Department of Transportation according to Cranky Flier.
There have been plenty of questionable decisions coming from the Department of Transportation lately, but none more insane than the decision to fine United for accidentally reporting tarmac delays. Thatâ€™s right. United was overly cautious and now owes at least $6,000 (and another $6,000 if they do it again). I am now asking the DOT for proof that a monkey isnâ€™t running that organization, because I canâ€™t imagine a human making such an absurd ruling.
When I first heard this, I thought it was a joke. But no, itâ€™s not. In May, the first month when the tarmac delay rule was in force, United reported four flights that had exceeded the three hour ground time permitted. They were included in the DOT monthly report but later retracted. See, United made a mistake and was overly cautious, so in exchange, the airline has been slapped with a fine.
I would like to see this decision overturned. What’s more, I’d like to see the offending bureaucrat’s salary have a $6,000 fine removed. I suspect if the punishment for supremely stupid decisions had an impact on the take home pay of said bureaucrats, we’d see a little sanity return to the department.