United Airlines fined $2.75 million over treatment of disabled fliers and tarmac delays.

 
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New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined United Airlines $2.75 million over the carrier's treatment of disabled passengers and for stranding passengers on delayed flights for more than three hours. The federal agency said an investigation of United Airlines' treatment of disabled passengers was sparked by "a significant increase in the number of disability-related complaints." "A review of these disability-related complaints revealed that United failed to provide passengers with disabilities prompt and adequate assistance with enplaning and deplaning aircraft," the Transportation Department said in a statement. Those complaints included an incident in October when a passenger with cerebral palsy was forced to crawl out of a United flight because airline crew failed to provide him with a special wheelchair that he requested. The airline publicly apologized to the flier a week later. In an employee newsletter Thursday, United Airlines said it had begun testing a new smartphone app and other technology so that passengers and crew members can more quickly order wheelchairs on planes and in terminals. "We expect this to greatly improve our ability to have wheelchairs where they need to be, when they need to be there, so that our customers can get on their way home or to their next destination with ease," said Jon Roitman, senior vice president of airport operations at United. Of the $2-million fine assessed over the violations...

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