The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said Monday that it ordered six airlines to pay a total $7.5 million in penalties and came to an agreement where they’d pay a total $622 million in passenger refunds, mostly over flights delayed or canceled during the Covid pandemic.
Many of the refunds had been owed to passengers for months. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters, “It shouldn’t take enforcement action from [USDOT] to get airlines to pay the funds that they’re required to pay.”
Buttigieg said under the settlements, discount carrier Frontier Airlines would be paying the biggest portion of the total: $222 million in refunds and a $2.2 million penalty.
Other air carriers also paying tens of millions in fines and refunds were Air India, TAP Portugal, Colombia’s Avianca, El Al Israel Airlines and Mexico’s Aeromexico.
USDOT said it is also investigating other carriers.