DOT gets paid by more airlines, announces $600 million refund to passengers

The US Department of Transportation asked six more airlines to pay.

On Monday, the Department announced it had forced six airlines to pay a total of more than $600 million in refunds that have piled up during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the refunds, airlines had to pay $7.25 million in civil penalties for taking too long to refund passengers.

Want more specific airline news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.

Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg said in a statement: “When a flight is cancelled, passengers seeking a refund should be refunded immediately. refunds. Flight cancellations are frustrating enough, and you don’t have to haggle or wait months for a refund. “

In total, the DOT’s office of airline consumer protection has handed out $8.1 million in fines so far this year, a record.

There was only one US airline on Monday’s list of airlines fined – Frontier Airlines. The ultra-low-cost airline had to return $222 million in refunds and was fined $2.2 million.

The other five airlines are:

  • Air India, to pay $121.5 million in refunds and $1.4 million in fines.
  • TAP Portugal, to pay $126.5 million in refunds and $1.1 million in fines.
  • Aeromexico, must pay $13.6 million in refunds and $900,000 in fines.
  • El Al, must pay $61.9 million in refunds and $900,000 in fines.
  • Avianca, must pay $76.8 million in refunds and $750,000 in fines.

In a statement, Frontier noted that it is paying $1 million out-of-pocket, after being given a good faith credit of $1.2 million to provide a refund.

Frontier Airlines has refunded more than $92 million and redeemed credits and vouchers for customers who voluntarily canceled non-refundable tickets during the pandemic and are not eligible for refunds under US law. In addition, the company refunded more than $2.7 million by voluntarily adopting a broader definition of substantial delay than the one in effect at the time to customers who booked and purchased their tickets between March 25 and October 27, 2020. These good faith refunds of nearly $100 million demonstrate Frontier’s commitment to fair and flexible treatment of guests. our goods. Under the terms of the Consent Order, Frontier will make payments totaling $1 million out of pocket, upon receipt of a $1.2 million good faith reimbursement credit.

As air travel demand rapidly dries up during the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines have severely delayed refunds or offering alternative vouchers, in an effort to preserve cash. precious. U.S. law requires refunds in a timely manner when an airline cancels a flight or significantly changes its schedule, although the government has never specifically quantified what is “timely.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

“The clocks kick in at the start of the pandemic for these enforcement actions, and these actions represent the end results,” Buttigieg said on a call with reporters announcing the penalties. .

Than: Air Canada refuses with $2 million fine for not refunding passengers

Monday’s action takes place almost exactly a year later DOT fines Air Canada $4.5 million in a lengthy refund story that played out in public, even though Air Canada ended up paying just $2 million out of pocket.

And, Buttigieg said, the department is not yet complete in its quest for large refunds for consumers.

“We have more enforcement actions and investigations underway and may have more news on fines,” he said.

Buttigieg’s DOT has been heavily focused on the consumer. In the first day of this month, Buttigieg sent a letter to airline leaders with suggestions for how to reduce flight delays around Florida and Mountain West. This early year, One panel announcement kit shows the type of accommodation that passengers on U.S. carriers receive when a delay or cancellation is within the airline’s control.

“As people get ready to fly this holiday season, we want our passengers to know that USDOT has their backs when it comes to safety, but also when it comes to meeting important customer service standards,” Buttigieg said. this.


News7g: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button