Air Canada will pay for refusing to refunds passengers in the US in a timely fashion, though the fine is only a small portion of what was originally proposed.
Air Canada has a fine DOT.
In June of 2021, the United States Department of Transportation announced it would pursue a $25.5 million civil penalty against Air Canada for refusing to provide customers with refunds during the Pandemic when flights between the United States and Canada were canceled or had significant schedule changes.
Air Canada was one of the worst airlines during the Pandemic when it came to adhering to the DOT's requirement of giving cash refunds. The company was told multiple times that it wasn't following the DOT's rules. Air Canada began retroactively issuing refunds in April 2021, as a condition of accepting aid from the Canadian government.
Air Canada made some strange and disingenuous arguments against the fine. There is an update to this case.
Air Canada will pay $4.5 million for slow refunds.
Air Canada will pay $4.5 million to the Department of Transportation's Office of Aviation Consumer Protection in order to resolve some issues. The Administrative Law Judge is presiding over the case.
Polly Trottenberg is a US deputy secretary of transportation.
The US Department of Transportation is holding airlines accountable by ensuring that they treat passengers fairly when flights are significantly changed or canceled. The Department is committed to protecting airline consumers and ensuring that all passengers get their refunds on time.
This is the highest amount the OACP has ever assessed against an airline, and it is lower than what was initially sought. Air Canada has also agreed to give refunds to passengers who purchase non-refundable tickets to or from the United States when their flights are canceled or delayed.
Air Canada will get a portion of the $4.5 million for refunds for passengers who bought non-refundable tickets for flights to or from the United States but decided not to take them. The US Treasury will get $2 million.
The OACP believes that the settlement will deter Air Canada and other carriers from committing similar violations in the future.
The bottom line.
Air Canada can use $2.5 million of the fine to give refunds to passengers.
It is good to see that Air Canada is facing some sort of punishment for its policy, but it is far from the $25.5 million penalty that was proposed.
What do you think about the settlement between Air Canada and the DOT?