AirTran fined for violating airline passengers' 'bill of rights'

The Department of Transportation issued a $30,000 fine to AirTran Airways for not updating its website with information about flight delays, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported Thursday.

The airline passengers' "bill of rights" that was enacted by Congress last year gained much attention for prohibiting airlines from holding passengers on airport tarmacs longer than three hours. But the measure also requires airlines to consistently update their websites with flight delay information, which the DoT said AirTran failed to do.

AirTran, which is based in Orlando but operates its hub out of Atlanta, attributed the complaint to a problem with its Internet servers, the AJC said. The airline still plans to pay the fine.

AirTran is in the middle of an attempted merger with Southwest Airlines, which has been in the news recently because of a plane being forced to make an emergency landing after a hole opened up in its fuselage.