US Fined British Airway With $1.1m Over Refunds

US Fined British Airway With $1.1m Over Refunds

The United States government fined British Airways (BA) $1.1 million (£877,000).

The US Department of Transportation said the airline had not provided “timely refunds to passengers” for abandoned or rescheduled flights to and from the country.

The department said it had received more than 1,200 complaints about the airline failing to provide timely refunds since March 2020.

BA rejected the claims stating it had “acted lawfully at all times”.

According to the transport department, from March to November 2020, BA's website instructed consumers to contact the carrier by phone to discuss refund options, including for flights the carrier had cancelled or significantly changed.

However, consumers were unable to get through to customer service agents when calling the carrier for several months during this period because BA failed to maintain adequate functionality of its customer service phone lines, it said.

“There was also no way to submit a refund request through the carrier's website during this period,” the department said.

The United Kingdom's flag carrier airline is being credited $550,000 (£438,793) toward the penalty because in 2020 and 2021 it paid more than $40m in refunds to customers with non-refundable tickets.

BA is owned by IAG (International Airlines Group) which also owns Vueling and Aer Lingus.

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