US seeks to fine Air Canada for refund delays.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) said on Tuesday that it has received thousands of complaints from consumers who claim Air Canada cancelled their flights then took over a year to refund the tickets.
The DOT is now seeking about $25.5m for what it termed extreme delays in processing refunds for the 6,000 complainants.
The Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP) said Air Canada “unlawfully failed to provide timely refunds” for flights between the United States and Canada that were cancelled or significantly changed.
“OACP asserts that Air Canada has committed a minimum of 5,110 violations and passengers waited anywhere from five months to 13 months to receive refunds.”
Air Canada vowed to challenge the proposed fine.
The DOT said it is also investigating the handling of refunds at other airlines, including US-based ones.
US federal regulations require carriers to provide refunds when passengers request them if the airline cancels or significantly changes the schedule of a flight.
For international flights, airlines are supposed to make credit card refunds within seven days, rising to 20 days for tickets bought with cash.