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Transportation Department Warns Airlines About Refund Obligations

The Transportation Department issued a second enforcement notice to carriers regarding ticket refunds on Tuesday.
Posted at 9:36 PM, May 12, 2020

The Transportation Department is reminding airlines of their obligation to provide refunds for flights canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The department said Tuesday it received more than 25,000 air travel service complaints and inquiries from travelers in March and April, up from around 1,500 complaints that it usually gets in a month. Many of those complaints had to do with refunds.

As such, the department issued its second enforcement notice to carriers regarding ticket refunds, as well as provided information to help consumers understand their rights.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the department is looking into whether airlines were following its refund rules and called on carriers to make sure customer service policies "are as flexible and considerate as possible to the needs of passengers who face financial hardship during this time."

The Transportation Department also announced it will allow airlines to further reduce the number of destinations they serve in an effort to help them deal with recent declines in passenger traffic.