Six airlines were fined collectively more than $7.25 million for failure to promptly pay more than $600 million in refunds for canceled and changed flights, federal officials said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said the historic enforcement action comes after a flood of complaints from travelers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A flight cancellation is frustrating enough, and you shouldnt also have to haggle or wait months to get your refund,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Under U.S. law, airlines are required to offer refunds for flights to, from, and within the U.S. that are canceled or significantly changed.
The only U.S. airline to be fined is low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines, which was required to pay $222 million in refunds and a $2.2 million penalty.
Air India, TAP Portugal, Aeromexico, El Al and Avianca each incurred fines between $750,000 and $1.4 million.