U.S. seeks US$25 million refund from Air Canada

The U.S. Department of Transportation is seeking to impose a fine of US$25.5 million on Air Canada on the grounds that Air Canada “failed to provide timely refunds to consumers” after canceling flights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the “Notice of Enforcement Procedures” issued by the department on Tuesday, the Aviation Consumer Protection Office stated that Air Canada “unlawfully failed to refund promptly” flights between the United States and Canada that were cancelled or undergoing major changes.

The agency stated that since March 1, 2020, it has received more than 6,000 complaints about refunds, and has notified Air Canada several times in the past year that it believes the airline’s position is “lack of value”.

The department said in a press release: “OACP claims that Air Canada has committed at least 5,110 violations and that passengers waited between 5 and 13 months to receive a refund.”

It said that Air Canada argued that it did not need to provide reimbursement based on the unique circumstances of the pandemic.

Air Canada agreed in April to refund passengers whose flights were cancelled As part of the federal aid program, it is worth up to 5.9 billion U.S. dollars.

As travel advisories and border closures have put the aviation industry into trouble, many airlines have for months refused to compensate customers for services they never provided.

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