Six Airlines Provide $600 Million in Refunds to Customers whose Flight were Cancelled Since March 2020
By Yehudit Garmaise
Six airlines, including El Al, paid more than $600 million to customers to provide refunds to travelers whose flights had been canceled or changed significantly, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Monday.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, the DOT has received a flood of complaints from air travelers who reported airlines’ failures to provide timely refunds after significantly altering original flight schedules.
In addition to El Al, Frontier, Air India, TAP Portugal, Aeromexico, and Avianca, the airlines that the DOT ensured refunded their customers who had to pay for their tickets after having to scramble to rebook new flights.
The half a billion dollars’ worth of fines were the results of the DOT’s ongoing enforcement of its rules.
“When a flight gets canceled, passengers seeking refunds should be paid back promptly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Whenever that doesn’t happen, we will act to hold airlines accountable on behalf of American travelers and get passengers their money back.
“A flight cancellation is frustrating enough, and you shouldn’t also have to haggle or wait months to get your refund.”
In addition to the more than $600 million in refunds airlines have repaid, the DOT is also assessing more than $7.25 million in civil penalties against six airlines for extreme delays in providing refunds.