During compliance inspections by the Department of Transporation's Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office) at various airports around the United States, American Airlines agents at boarding gates locations and ticket counters being used by the carrier failed to produce proper copies of American Airlines' written denied boarding statement required pursuant to 14 CFR 250.9 ("250.9 Notice") in response to specific requests by Enforcement Office staff. In an attempt to comply, some agents provided other airline documents, such as the carrier's Contract of Carriage or customer service complaint form, but the Enforcement Office found that these documents did not contain the disclosures required by section 250.9. In other instances, American agents were not able to produce a copy of the denied boarding statement at either the ticket counter or the boarding gate or produced outdated copies, with compensation amounts below the minimum value set forth in the regulations.
Additionally, during the compliance inspections, American agents produced ticket notices or displayed signage at certain airport ticket counters and/or boarding gates which purported to limit the carrier's domestic baggage liability limit to amounts less than USD 3,500.
The DOT found that the violation of the domestic baggage liability rule and American's failure to adhere to its Customer Service Plan were unfair and deceptive practices in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712. The DOT ordered American to cease and desist from further similar violations and assessed USD 45,000 in civil penalties.
American Airlines, Inc., Docket DOT-OST-2016-0002 (Aug. 26, 2016).
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