Airlines are springing into action during weather events to avoid stranding travelers. "Not stranding passengers is now priority No. 1 as the [Transportation Department] hammer means millions of dollars in fines and 'being made an example of,' " said Alan Bender, professor of aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. "Up until the new [department] policy went into effect, priority No. 1 was moving planes and crews. Passengers were viewed as something akin to 'glorified cargo.' There were no real penalties other than meal vouchers, etc., for having people wait and be inconvenienced for hours or even days."
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