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Delta fined $750,000 for long tarmac delays

Planes line up on the tarmac as snow falls delaying travel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Atlanta.
Planes line up on the tarmac as snow falls delaying travel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Atlanta.

Delta Air Lines is being fined $750,000 for flights with long tarmac delays that violated a U.S. Department of Transportation rule.

However, of the $750,000, Altanta-based Delta is being credited $450,000 for compensation it gave to passengers stuck on the tarmac and for the airline's costs to set up a backup data center and an automated aircraft parking guidance and jet bridge positioning system. That means ultimately, the airline will pay a $300,000 penalty.

The penalty is for 11 tarmac delays more than three hours long. That includes tarmac delays at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport during a Delta IT outage on Jan. 29, 2017 and a snowstorm on Dec. 8, 2017, and during a Kansas City ice storm on Feb. 20, 2018.

Delta issued a statement Thursday saying it “reiterates its apology to customers who were delayed by the extenuating circumstance,” and said: “Immediately following the episodes described in 2017 and 2018, Delta provided customers with substantial compensation for the delays including cash reimbursements, SkyMiles and vouchers for future travel.” The airline said it “has already implemented key learnings” and added deicing capability at its Atlanta hub.

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