US transportation department slaps $80,000 fine on Air India

Air India has been slapped with a $80,000 fine by the US transportation department for not posting customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans on its website and adequately inform passengers about its optional fees, according to a PTI report.

The action comes as the first penalty imposed for violation of the department's new airline consumer rules that came into effect last August.

US transportation secretary Ray LaHood said yesterday that the new airline consumer rules helped ensure that passengers were fully informed about airline services and fees and what to expect in the event of their flight delay on tarmac.

From August 2011, foreign carriers operating to the US and having at least one aircraft of 30 or more seats would need to adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays as also customer service plans, and post these plans on their websites.

US carriers are covered under the requirement since April 2010, the department of transportation said in a statement.

Further, US carriers and foreign carriers with a website that sells tickets to US consumers are now required to feature a prominent link on their homepage that takes viewers directly to a page that shows all fees for optional services the carrier charges, including baggage fees.

According to the statement, Air India failed to post the information required and provide a link to its optional fees in time.

Air India failed to post its customer service, tarmac delay contingency plans and provide a link to its optional fees by the required date, the statement added.