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U.S. fines 6 airlines $7.5 million and force them to refund customers

U.S. fines 6 airlines $7.5 million and forces them to refund customers. Includes Air India, Aeromexico,

The DGCA penalized Air India $37K and suspended the pilot for 3 months for improper handling of the Peegate issue.

Officials from the federal government announced on Monday that Frontier Airlines and four foreign carriers have agreed to refund more than $600 million to travellers whose travels have been postponed or considerably delayed as a result of the pandemic.

Jet Airways CEO Gives Sassy Reply to Man Who Asked For 2019 Cancelled Flight Refund(Opens in a new browser tab)

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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it also fined the same airlines more than $7 million for their long refund delays that violated consumer protection laws.

When the airlines cancelled large number of flights after the epidemic hit the U.S. in early 2020, customers rushed the agency with thousands of complaints about their inability to get refunds. 
It was by far the most common type of complaint.

Frontier Airlines, based in Denver, is returning $222 million and paying a $2.2 million civil penalty, according to the government. The Transportation Department announced that TAP Portugal would refund $126.5 million and pay a $1.1 million fine, Air India would pay $121.5 million in refunds and a $1.4 million fine, Aeromexico would pay $13.6 million and a $900,000 fine, Israel’s El Al would pay $61.9 million and a $900,000 fine, and Colombia’s Avianca would pay $76.8 million and a $750,000 fine.

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Air India to take legal action and impose fine on unruly passengers, to charge Rs 5 lakh for 1 hour delay(Opens in a new browser tab)

According to Blane Workie, the assistant general counsel for the Transportation Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, there won’t be any penalties for other U.S. airlines because they responded “shortly after” the department reminded them in April 2020 of their duty to make prompt refunds.

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“We have no open cases involving other U.S. carriers. On the same call as Buttigieg, Workie stated that the cases that remain are against foreign airlines. Consumer activists were unsatisfied, claiming that the main US airlines also breached refund policies, even if they took corrective action more rapidly.

On customer refunds for airlines, the Department has also suggested stronger regulations. According to the DOT, consumers can file air travel consumer complaints online. http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm or by voicemail at (202)-366-2220.

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