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Delta Broke Passenger-Bumping Rules. The Penalty? Buy Some Tablets

Delta Broke Passenger-Bumping Rules. The Penalty? Buy Some Tablets
Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Federal regulators slapped Delta Air Lines with a $750,000 fine Wednesday for not compensating passengers bumped from flights, the company’s second such violation in four years. The U.S. Department of Transportation said Delta had not sought volunteers willing to relinquish their seat on oversold flights, a common industry practice aimed at mitigating the large number of people who miss flights they have booked.

The interesting part is the remedy Delta negotiated with federal regulators: $425,000 of the fine will go for the airline to buy tablet devices to record what happens when a flight is oversold and the hunt for volunteers begins. It’s the first time a DOT consent order has included tablet purchases to help an airline comply with the rules, department spokesman Bill Mosley said in an e-mail.