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Delta Air Lines

Delta Fined for Lack of Snacks During Flight Delays

Delta Fined for Lack of Snacks During Flight Delays
Jennifer Billock

Hangry passengers win the day after a fine levied on Delta for not providing snacks during four flight delays.

After four multi-hour flight delays in New York and Atlanta throughout July last year, the Transportation Department has fined Delta Air Lines $90,000 for not providing passengers with snacks while they sat on the tarmac, unable to get off the plane. None of the delays lasted more than three hours with passengers stuck on the plane.

Water was distributed to the passengers during the delays, but apparently the snacks were another issue. On one of the delayed flights from New York to Madrid, snacks were in the galley but not distributed to all the passengers. One of the other delays, from Atlanta to South Carolina, sat on the tarmac for just over two hours with passengers unable to get off. Snacks were only distributed during the time the doors to the plane were open, though there wasn’t enough for everyone. On a flight from Atlanta to Maine, passengers only received water.

Delta released a statement on Friday expressing regrets for the incidents and the ways the delays were handled, as a reply to a four-page consent order as part of the fine settlement.

“As stated in the order, Delta acknowledges and regrets that the way snacks were distributed during these delays was not ideal,” Delta said in a statement reported by USA Today. “We strive to provide food and water during extended delays because that’s the level of excellent customer service we are known for and not simply because it is required by regulation.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (4)


  1. emcampbe

    March 10, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Sorry – those passengers didn’t win anything. The DOT did – that’s where all the money goes.

    I get that the DOT tarmac delay rules provide for fines that are supposed to dissuade the carrier from breaking them. But the fact is, the $ won goes to the DOT. The $ that the airline is forced to pay, or at least a good percentage of it, needs to go to the passengers on the affected flights.

  2. kettle1

    March 10, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Give me a break!

  3. am13

    March 11, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Flew Delta for the first time in a while yesterday. The flight was delayed 2.5 hours (from JFK), but I was pleasantly surprised by how well they handled it. Lots of “have one on us” trolleys around the Terminal 2 (C Gates) filled with snacks and drinks to keep passengers well-fed. Much better than I’m used to with UA.

  4. UncleDude

    March 12, 2017 at 10:40 am

    In Deltas defense, surely they can’t be expected to cater snacks on an Atlanta to South Carolina flight of under an hour just in the likelihood of a tarmac delay.

    Incidentally my last Tarmac delay was cause by First Lady Presidential/Government Aircraft,two of them, another of my long Tarmac delay was also caused by another Government Vice-President Aircraft. Understand the former Vice President [DC] had time to deplane, drive to a Convention Center, Deliver a Speech and return, board and Take-Off whilst we waited.

    However my Longest ever Tarmac delay was due to Congestion in an Immigration Hall on arrival.

    None were the fault of an Airline.

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