The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports it has assessed a civil penalty against Virgin America for filing incomplete reports with the DOT about complaints registered by passengers with disabilities and for not responding adequately to these complaints. The carrier was ordered to cease and desist from further violations and assessed a civil penalty of $100,000.
“We expect airlines to respond individually to disability-related complaints and to report those complaints to us,” said Secretary Ray LaHood. “These are important parts of our rules protecting the rights of passengers, and we will continue to take enforcement action when they are violated.”
The DOT Enforcement Office said it found that in many instances, Virgin America failed to provide a written response that addressed the consumer’s complaint. In addition, Virgin America failed to properly categorize and account for all the disability-related issues that were raised in the complaints the carrier received during 2008 and 2009, DOT said. As a result, a number of complaints were missing from Virgin America’s annual reports submitted to the Department in 2009 and 2010.