Eurowings Fined US$225,000 by US DOT

Eurowings Fined US$225,000 by US DOT

DALLAS – German long-haul low-cost carrier Eurowings (EW) has been fined by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for keeping passengers onboard an aircraft for over five hours.

Flight EW1182 was a scheduled service from Dusseldorf (DUS) to Miami (MIA) on July 23, 2019. However, the flight was diverted to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) due to poor weather in MIA.

According to the report filed by the DOT, the aircraft was then parked on a remote stand, and the crew requested deplaning the 268 passengers. US Customs and Border Patrol refused, only permitting passengers ‘to deplane if their checked luggage could also be offloaded.’

The flight had departed DUS bound for MIA when it was forced to divert to FLL. Photo: Eurowings.

Violating US Regulations

When ground handlers arrived two hours later, the crew declined the offer and decided to continue to MIA as the weather had improved.

But the Airbus A330 remained on the ground at FLL for a further three hours, and passengers became “restless.” At 22:00 local time, the crew were advised that MIA had closed again due to poor weather conditions. The passengers then called the police, “who ultimately facilitated deplaning of the aircraft.”

In its order, the DOT said that Eurowings violated several US regulations and failed to comply with plans for excessive delays on the tarmac.

Photo: Brandon Siska/Airways.

The Fine

The airline has now been ordered to pay US$225,000, half of which is due to be paid in the next 30 days. The other half of the fine has been suspended but will need to be paid should EW violate any further US regulations or terms and conditions of the current payment.

Eurowings remains adamant that the delay was caused by forces beyond its control and disagrees with the penalties imposed. However, the DOT said the carrier “is entering into this consent order to avoid the suggested possibility of escalated civil penalties.”

Featured Image: Eurowings Airbus A330-200 (D-AXGC). Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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