Is Leslie Knope running the DOT?

As widely reported today, United was fined $12,000 for NOT exceeding the three hour tarmac delay rule. What happened? Well, back in May several United flights were diverted to Colorado Springs due to weather in Denver, and United openly reported that they violated the tarmac delay rule.

As it turns out, though, they didn’t. They were supposed to “stop the clock” at the point that passengers were allowed to disembark, which they didn’t. In other words, they did better than they reported.

What makes this story laughable is the DOT quote:

“United’s misreporting of this data wasted valuable department resources,” said the consent order, since the United report forced the Transportation Department’s enforcement office to initiate an investigation.

…which is exactly what makes me believe that Leslie Knope of Parks & Recreation is running the DOT.

Unbelievable.

Comments

  1. I have a feeling that there is a much bigger fine for actually violating the delay rule. The FAA can’t know follow every flight and probably relies on the records of the airlines to do their enforcement work. And since the tarmac delay rule seems to be a popular rule-borne of extremely bad publicity-the FAA probably has to report to Congress about how well (or poorly) it’s working and misinformation probably messes them up.

    Dollars to donuts says the regulation says exactly when the clock stops and starts on the tarmac delay rule.

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