Airlines must give refunds — not vouchers — when flights are axed

A worker walks by a baggage declare place at a virtually-vacant O’Hare International Airport on April 2, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Pictures

The Section of Transportation said Friday that airlines have to give clients refunds when flights are canceled or substantially delayed amid coronavirus.

The company explained it has been given an rising selection of issues from airline shoppers who mentioned they have been denied refunds for canceled or drastically delayed flights and alternatively given vouchers to use for journey at a afterwards date.

Airways have axed thousands of flights and are continuing to cancel prepared flights by way of the summertime right after the virus and actions to prevent it from spreading, these types of as continue to be-at-property orders, devastated travel desire.

“In recognition of the reality that the COVID-19 public health and fitness crisis has had major impacts on the airline industry, the Aviation Enforcement Business office will exercise its prosecutorial discretion and supply carriers an chance to turn into compliant right before using more motion,” the company reported.

If airlines explain to passengers instantly that they have the possibility of a refund, updates its guidelines and goes around individuals tips with reservation brokers and other workers, “the Aviation Enforcement Business will refrain from pursuing an enforcement motion towards a carrier that supplied passengers vouchers for long run journey in lieu of refunds.”

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