TAP to pay €122M in refunds
The US Department of Transport (DOT) has ordered Portugal’s airline TAP and other companies to shell out €122 million in refunds and pay fines for “cancelled or significantly changed flights”, the majority during the pandemic.
TAP will have to pay out US$126.5 million (€122.5) in mandatory refunds — an amount that has already been factored into TAP’s accounts — and a fine of US$1.1 million (1 million euros), which has since been reduced by 50%.
On Monday, the DOT announced “historic enforcement actions against six airlines, which collectively paid more than half a billion dollars to people who were owed a refund due to a canceled or significantly changed flight. These fines are part of DOT’s ongoing work to ensure Americans receive the refunds they are owed from airlines. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, DOT has received a flood of complaints from air travelers about airlines’ failures to provide timely refunds after they had their flights canceled or significantly changed.
“When a flight gets canceled, passengers seeking refunds should be paid back promptly. Whenever that doesn’t happen, we will act to hold airlines accountable on behalf of American travelers and get passengers their money back.” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “A flight cancellation is frustrating enough, and you shouldn’t also have to haggle or wait months to get your refund.”