The US has ordered Tata Group-owned Air India to refund over $120 million to passengers and pay a penalty of nearly $1.4 million for delayed refunds. These refunds are to be given to passengers due to cancellation or change of flights.
Air India is among the six airlines that have agreed to give more than $600 million in refunds. Air India’s ‘refund on request’ policy is against the rules of the US Department of Transportation. Under these rules, airlines have to give refunds to passengers in case of cancellation or change of flight. These cases of refund of passengers related to Air India were before the Tata Group took over the airline. An investigation into this had revealed that the airline had taken more than 100 days to process more than half of the nearly 1,900 refund complaints given to the Department of Transportation.
The Department of Transportation said, “Air India did not give refunds on time. Due to this, passengers have suffered losses.” Apart from Air India, airlines that have paid refunds and penalties include Frontier, TAP Portugal, Aero Mexico, EI AI and Avianca. Frontier has been ordered to pay more than $220 million in refunds and nearly $2.2 million in penalties. TAP Portugal will have to pay a refund of more than $126 million and a penalty of $1.1 million.
In this regard, the Department of Transportation said that it is illegal for an airline to deny refund to passengers and instead provide them with vouchers. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Passengers seeking refunds for canceled flights must be paid promptly. If they do not, we will take action to hold the airlines accountable on behalf of American travelers and punish them.” Will get refund. Cancellation of flight is a lot of trouble and after that there should be no hassle or waiting for months to get refund.