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FAA Fines American Eagle

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

American Airlines' subsidiary American Eagle faces a $2.5 million dollar penalty from the FAA for inadequately weighing baggage. KERA's Bill Zeeble explains.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Eagle failed to properly weigh baggage on 154 trips flown in 2008. As a result, planes could have been too heavy for safe take-offs and landings. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says travelers must be confident airlines follow important safety rules.

The FAA also says once Eagle knew of the problem, it flew 39 MORE flights with no correction. The carrier disagrees with the FAA, calls the penalties excessive and inappropriate, and says it operates a safe airline.

Eagle says the discrepancies arose between hand-written baggage weights and the weight calculated electronically.

It says late arriving bags explain most of the problem, but says those bag weights were accurately included in the electronic tally and Eagle planes flew safely.

Email Bill Zeeble