SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) – Asiana Airlines has been penalized $500,000 for failing to assist family members of passengers on a flight that crashed last year at San Francisco airport, federal transportation officials said Tuesday.
The fine announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation was a first: No airline has broken U.S. laws that require prompt and generous assistance to the loved ones of crash victims.
Three people died and dozens were injured on July 6 when Asiana Flight 214 clipped a seawall while landing.
An investigation by the Department of Transportation concluded that some family members had not been contacted two days after the crash, and it took five days to reach the families of all 291 passengers.
“The last thing families and passengers should have to worry about at such a stressful time is how to get information from their carrier,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a prepared statement.
Many of the families live in South Korea or China, meaning the airline was their main source of information on the crash half a world away.