US Govt Orders Air India & 6 Other Airlines To Issue Rs 5000 Crore Refunds Immediately!
The irregularities of the Covid-19 pandemic impacted many sectors across the globe, one of the centre ones being the tours and travel business.
Due to stringent travel restrictions, many countries had shut their borders to foreign travel routes and also in between different states in the same country. This led to a lot of commotion in terms of travel tickets already booked.
There were also a lot of complaints regarding flight reschedules. During such times, a plethora of travellers and passengers did not receive their cancellation refunds.
In order to enforce consumer protection and attend to customer grievances, the U.S. Transportation Department, acronymed as the USDOT has gone ahead and issued a fine of $7.25 million in penalties on six airlines globally, along with approving to issue another $622 million as passenger refunds.
The federal agency made this announcement on Monday.
Flights Required to Pay Refund Penalties Include Air India
Here is a list of some of the major airline companies around the globe that are slapped with heavy penalties for not processing refunds of US citizens in stipulated time.
- Air India (now owned by Tata Group) will have to pay refunds worth $121.5 million in addition to a penalty of $1.4 million.
- Frontier Airlines is charged with a fine of $2.2 million and refund amount of $222 million.
- Colombia’s Avianca will have to pay $76.8 million in refunds and $750,000 in penalty.
- Mexico’s Aeromexico is slapped with a fine of $900,000 and refunds of $13.6 million.
- TAP Portugal has to pay refunds worth $126.5 million and a penalty amount of $1.1 million.
According to the US federal agency, Air India did not provide the customers with any timely refunds. To this, the (now) Tata Group-led airline explained that it did receive a “flood of refund requests from March 2020 through September 2021 due to its ‘liberal refund-on-demand’ policy.”
The Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg stated that the US agency’s move aims at helping hundreds of thousands of passengers to get their refund amounts, who had their flights cancelled or significantly changed.
“It shouldn’t take enforcement action from (USDOT) to get airlines to pay the funds that they’re required to pay,” Buttigieg added.