Asiana fined $500K for not quickly telling kin after SFO crash 

In the first penalty of its kind, federal transportation officials on Tuesday docked Asiana Airlines $500,000 for failing to promptly contact passengers’ families and keep them informed about their loved ones after a deadly crash last year at San Francisco International Airport.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it took the South Korean airline five days to contact the families of all 291 passengers. In addition, a required crash hotline was initially routed to an automated reservations line. Never before has the department concluded that an airline broke U.S. laws requiring prompt and generous assistance to the loved ones of crash victims.

Three people died and dozens were injured July 6 when Asiana Flight 214 clipped a seawall while landing.

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.

Under a consent order the airline signed with the department, Asiana will pay a $400,000 fine and get a $100,000 credit for sponsoring industrywide conferences and training sessions through 2015 to discuss lessons learned from the situation.

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