DOT Fines Asiana Airlines $500,000 For San Francisco Crash

The department criticized Asiana for taking several days to notify the family members of crash victims, fining the company under a little-used law.
Posted at 7:25 PM, Feb 25, 2014

The U.S. Department of Transportation fined Asiana Airlines half-a-million dollars after it failed to help families involved in the San Francisco plane crash last July.

“You may remember three people died and dozens more were hurt when Asiana Airlines flight 214 clipped a seawall as it came in for landing in San Francisco.” (Via Fox News)

According to the DOT, it took Asiana 2 days to contact the majority of passenger’s family members and 5 days to reach them all. (Via WINK)

The department says the airline didn’t publicize a telephone number for family members until a day after the crash. Asiana also reportedly lacked a staff trained in crash response, and it took them two days to send enough staff members to help. (Via U.S. Department of Transportation)

USA Today reports one reason why it took the company so long to reach family members is because it struggled to track down the family of passengers who bought tickets through travel agents.

This is the first time this fine has ever been used under the Foreign Act Carrier Family Support Act of 1997, which requires airlines to have a family-assistance plan in the case of an accident.

“No airline has ever broken U.S. laws that require prompt and generous assistance to loved ones of crash victims.” (Via KIRO)

Los Angeles Times reports Asiana couldn’t be immediately reached for comment but in a statement said it gave “extensive support to the passengers and their families following the accident and will continue to do so.”

The pilot of flight 214 said before the crash he was stressed about landing the Boeing 777 plane without the help of an instrument landing system that tells planes if they’re too high or low. The BBC reports the instrument was out of order because of construction work.