November 29, 2023

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US fines British Airways $1.1 million over Covid flight refunds

2 min read

London: British Airways was fined $1.1 million by the US Division of Transportation after it decided that the airline had failed to supply passengers well timed refunds for canceled flights to and from the US throughout the pandemic.

Clients have been unable to submit refund requests on BA’s web site from March to November 2020, and have been unable to achieve customer support over the cellphone for a number of months throughout 2020 as a result of the service didn’t function its cellphone traces adequately, the DOT stated in a consent order filed Thursday.

Refunds emerged as a contentious matter on the top of the pandemic as ever-changing and infrequently contradictory journey restrictions upended the aviation trade. Money-starved airways tried to steer passengers towards rebooking or accepting credit for future flights, which the DOT known as out within the consent order.

The DOT stated it has obtained greater than 1,200 complaints since March 2020, claiming BA didn’t provide well timed refunds for canceled or considerably disrupted flights to or from the US.

“We view British Airways’ apply to be unfair as a result of customers have been subjected to excessive delays in acquiring refunds and a few might have been successfully denied refunds,” the DOT stated.

The DOT stated it will cut back $550,000 from the penalty as a result of BA did refund greater than $40 million to clients with non-refundable flights to or from the US in 2020 and 2021.

BA “acted lawfully always” throughout the pandemic and allowed clients whose flights have been canceled to both rebook flights on completely different dates or declare a refund, the service stated in an announcement. BA stated it had issued greater than 5 million refunds because the pandemic started.

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