rain.png
Friday December 9th, 2022 2:29PM

US says airlines to refund more than $600 million to flyers

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Frontier Airlines and four foreign carriers have agreed to refund more than $600 million combined to travelers whose trips were canceled or significantly delayed since the start of the pandemic, federal officials said Monday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it also fined the same airlines more than $7 million for delaying refunds so long that they violated consumer-protection rules.

The largest U.S. airlines, which accounted for the bulk of complaints about refunds, avoided fines, and an official said no other U.S. carriers are being investigated for potential fines.

Consumers flooded the agency with thousands of complaints about their inability to get refunds when the airlines canceled huge numbers of flights after the pandemic hit the U.S. in early 2020. It was by far the leading category of complaints.

“When Americans buy a ticket on an airline, we expect to get to our destination safely, reliably and affordably, and our job at DOT is to hold airlines accountable for these expectations,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

The department said Denver-based Frontier Airlines is refunding $222 million and paying a $2.2 million civil penalty.

TAP Portugal will refund $126.5 million and pay a $1.1 million fine; Air India will pay $121.5 million in refunds and a $1.4 million penalty; Aeromexico will pay $13.6 million and a $900,000 fine; Israel's El Al will pay $61.9 million and a $900,000 penalty; and Colombia's Avianca will pay $76.8 million and a $750,000 fine, the Transportation Department said.

“We have more enforcement actions and investigations underway and there may be more news to come by way of fines,” Buttigieg said during a call with reporters.

However, there will be no fines for other U.S. airlines because they responded “shortly after” the Transportation Department reminded them in April 2020 of their obligation to provide quick refunds, said Blane Workie, the assistant general counsel for the Transportation Department's Office of Aviation Consumer Protection.

“We do not have any pending cases against other U.S. carriers. Our remaining cases are against foreign air carriers,” Workie said on the same call with Buttigieg.

In 2020, United Airlines had the most refund-related complaints filed with DOT — more than 10,000. Air Canada, El Al and TAP Portugal were next, both over 5,000, followed by American Airlines and Frontier, both topping 4,000.

Air Canada agreed last year to pay $4.5 million to settle similar U.S. allegations of slow refunds. The Transportation Department initially sought $25.5 million in that case.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Consumer News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Prosecutors: No criminal charges expected from Giuliani raid
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will not face criminal charges over his interactions with Ukrainian figures in the runup to the 2020 presidential election
6:35PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Israel Defense Minister: US probes Shireen Abu Akleh killing
Israel's Defense Minister says the United States government has started an investigation into the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
6:31PM ( 16 minutes ago )
US says airlines to refund more than $600 million to flyers
Frontier Airlines and four foreign carriers are paying more than $600 million in refunds to consumers whose flights were canceled or significantly delayed since the start of the pandemic
6:31PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden, Xi clash on Taiwan but aim to ‘manage’ differences
The White House says President Joe Biden has objected to what it says is China's “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions” toward Taiwan during his meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping
5:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
Appeals court ruling keeps Biden student debt plan on hold
President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of borrowers lost another battle in court on Monday when a federal appeals court panel agreed to a preliminary injunction halting the program while an appeal plays out
5:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
EU warns Serbia, Kosovo against returning to the past
The European Union is warning Serbia and Kosovo that they must resolve their dispute over vehicle license plates before next week or face the prospect of a return to their violent past
4:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
40 states settle Google location-tracking charges for $392M
Google has agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states to resolve an investigation into how the company tracked users’ locations
1:08PM ( 5 hours ago )
Snyder, Commanders, NFL, Goodell sued by DC attorney general
The District of Columbia attorney general’s office has filed a civil consumer protection lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell
4:53PM ( 4 days ago )
DC AG files civil suit vs. Commanders, Snyder, NFL, Goodell
The District of Columbia attorney general’s office has filed a civil consumer protection lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell
3:09PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Business - Consumer News
Prosecutors: No criminal charges expected from Giuliani raid
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will not face criminal charges over his interactions with Ukrainian figures in the runup to the 2020 presidential election
6:35PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Israel Defense Minister: US probes Shireen Abu Akleh killing
Israel's Defense Minister says the United States government has started an investigation into the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
6:31PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Elon Musk pay package at Tesla challenged in court
Testimony is under way in a shareholder lawsuit challenging approval by Tesla’s board of directors of a compensation plan potentially worth more than $55 billion for CEO Elon Musk
6:27PM ( 20 minutes ago )
No. 1 Georgia eyes perfect season with tightly bonded team
Georgia added another title to its growing collection, yet didn't see a whole lot of reason to celebrate
6:16PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Lawsuit: 2 Wyoming mental patients dead, procedures ignored
A lawsuit alleges two Wyoming State Hospital patients died while staff at the mental health institution failed to follow procedures in several recent food choking, neglect and medication error incidents
6:05PM ( 42 minutes ago )