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Nov 14, 2011 6:48 AM by Kate Richards

Airline fined $900,000

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Transportation Department is fining a regional affiliate of American Airlines $900,000 for keeping passengers cooped up on planes for over three hours in Chicago earlier this year.

The department said Monday that American Eagle Airlines had tarmac delays of more than three hours on 15 flights arriving at O'Hare on May 29. A total of 608 passengers were aboard the delayed flights.

American and American Eagle are owned by AMR Corp. of Fort Worth, Tex.

Coming on the eve of the busy holiday travel season, the fine is a clear warning to airlines that the government won't tolerate similar incidents.

American Eagle says the delays were caused by airport congestion resulting from poor weather.

The airline says it has apologized to passengers and offered travel vouchers.

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