Author: Harris Clark
According to the Department of Transportation, Frontier Airlines and five international flight carriers will refund up to $600 Million combined to the millions of flight passengers whose trips were either delayed significantly or canceled entirely since 2020.
Continue reading as we uncover the reasons behind the refund and the airlines involved in this case.
Travelers Set To Receive More Than $600 Million In Refunds over Canceled Flights.
The United States Department of Transportation is ordering Frontier Airlines and five foreign airlines to refund over $600 Million to travelers who had their flights canceled or delayed amid a challenging period for flight operators worldwide.
“When a flight gets canceled or delayed, it automatically becomes the airline’s responsibility to refund the dissatisfied customers,” wrote Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation.
“When a carrier fails to complete that task, we must hold them to it and ensure that millions of American passengers receive their funds back.”
The U.S DOT also says it is fining the six carriers over $7 Million for breaching consumer-protection policies by delaying customer refunds for such a long time.
Thousands of passengers countrywide have filed reports complaining about how tedious it is to receive refunds since the pandemic in 2020 when companies were forced to cancel vast numbers of flights globally.
According to Federal law, flight operators must promptly refund travelers if ever forced to cancel or change a flight.
“Flight cancellation is already critical enough; passengers shouldn’t have to undergo the stressful nature of waiting for refunds, then imagine making them wait months,” Pete wrote.
The Department of Transportation will fine Frontier Airlines, one of America’s largest airlines, $222 Million alongside $2.2 Million in Civil Penalties.
In the document released, the federal govt charges the airline for stalling to respond to the two-week shutdown period to its online credit processing server and redefining its company standard of significant flight delays to reduce the incidences of refunds and reports.
Frontier played a negative role in the time following the pandemic, said Bill Mcgee of the American Economic Liberties Project. It’s nice that deserving travelers receive their money back.
Five Other Airlines
Five other international airlines will be required to complete refunds and pay fines.
Aeromexico will pay a fine of $900,000 and a refund of $13.5Million. Avianca will pay a fine of $750,000 and a refund of $76.7Million while El Al will pay $900,000 and a refund of $69Million. Air India will pay $1.4 Million and refund $121 Million, and TAP Portugal will pay $1.1 Million and refund $126 Million.
Other U.S airlines will not face a fine as they responded to the DOT’s reminder about their duty to provide seamless refunds for their customers. “No other U.S airlines have a case with us. Currently, we’re working on building some more cases against foreign airlines violating their customers,” the department added,
Buttlieg has urged airlines to improve their scheduling practices and boost workforce numbers to avoid undesirable conditions. In 2020, Frontier reported 4000 refund-related complaints, while TAP Portugal and El Al reported 5000 each. At the same time, Avianca and Air India accounted for over 1500 and 1900, respectively.
Even though performance has increased over the last year, airlines worldwide are yet to recover fully from the effects of travel restrictions and pandemic-enforced lockdowns.