The Department of Transportation "levied a total civil penalty of $100,000" against Continental Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines and a $75,000 fine against Mesaba Airlines for their roles in the August incident that left dozens of passengers stranded on a plane in Rochester, Minn., for nearly six hours. It is the first time the DOT has issued a fine for a tarmac delay. "I hope that this sends a signal to the rest of the airline industry that we expect airlines to respect the rights of air travelers," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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