Maybe the dog ate Falcon Air’s homework

From time to time, a consent order crosses my desk that’s just too funny to not write about. Like today’s ruling (PDF) against Falcon Air Express, a Miami-based airline whose claim to fame is running a wet T-shirt contest on a charter flight to Mexico.

This time Falcon is in trouble for the less glamorous sin of failing to file its paperwork on time. According to the Transportation Department,

Falcon Air failed to file in a timely manner certain financial reports with the Department for half of 2007, all of 2008, and all of 2009, despite numerous warning notices from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

In April 2010, only after being contacted by the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office), did Falcon Air file all the delinquent reports with BTS.

Talk about tardy.

Falcon’s excuse is hilarious:

In mitigation, Falcon Air states that it did not intentionally fail to file the requisite data, nor did it purposefully withhold information from the Department or the BTS.

The carrier states that its staff did not file the reports because the employees were focused on safety functions as well as matters of daily operational concerns — meeting customers’ needs, attending to the hiring and managing of employees, issuing the paperwork to pay employees and suppliers/vendors, developing new business to sustain the company’s financial obligations, and other critical functions.

In other words, the dog ate my homework.

The DOT is not amused. It fined Falcon Air $100,000.

(Photo: Richard Stowey/Flickr Creative Commons)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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