British Airways fined $1.1 million by USDOT over delayed refunds

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) fined British Airways $1.1 million on Thursday for failing to offer timely refunds to travelers for flights to and from the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, the US Department of Transportation has received over 1,200 complaints saying that British Airways failed to offer timely refunds. IAG, which owns British Airways, refuted the allegations. The USDOT said it will credit British Airways with $550,000 toward the penalty because the airline issued more than $40 million in reimbursements to passengers with nonrefundable tickets in 2020 and 2021. 

Book transfer in France 728*90

According to the US Department of Transportation, the fine "establishes a strong deterrent to future similar unlawful practices by British Airways and other carriers." British Airways stated that it operated lawfully at all times and provided passengers with the option to rebook flights or seek refunds if flights were canceled. Customers were unable to reach customer care representatives when phoning the carrier for several months due to British Airways' failure to maintain enough customer service phone lines, according to the USDOT. 


According to the airline, "At the height of the unprecedented pandemic - when we were unfortunately forced to cancel thousands of flights and close some call centers due to government restrictions - our customers experienced slightly longer wait times to reach customer service teams." The US Department of Transportation has fined airlines for failing to offer timely refunds. Last month, the US Department of Transportation penalized LATAM Airlines Group $1 million for delayed reimbursements.


Since March 2020, the USDOT has received over 750 complaints saying that LATAM, Latin America's largest carrier, failed to offer timely reimbursements for U.S. trips. In January, the USDOT said that it will pursue increased penalties for airlines that violated consumer protection standards, intending to "deter future misconduct by seeking higher penalties that would not be viewed as simply a cost of doing business." In November 2022, USDOT find six airlines $7.25 million over passenger refunds as the agency vows to aggressively enforce consumer protections.

Endless Possibilities

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3
EN - 728x90