Delta has issued $6 billion in refunds since 2020 due to flight disruptions
Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian said the airline has issued $6 billion in refunds since 2020 for canceled or significantly changed flights and detailed steps it has taken to improve customer service. “Since the start of 2020, we have refunded over 11 million tickets totaling $6 billion, 20% of which occurred in 2022,” Bastian, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, wrote in a letter handed down. public on Wednesday.
He also revealed that Delta automatically deposited an additional 10,000 miles into the loyalty accounts of travelers who experienced travel disruptions between May 1 and July 7. Some members of Congress have urged airlines to do more to increase refunds. Buttigieg said recently that the department has completed 10 investigations into airline refund practices and is pursuing enforcement actions and has proposed new ticket refund rules.
Bastian said “Delta’s capacity restoration in 2022 compared to 2019 is the weakest among our competitors.” He added that Delta “currently has 91% of active pilots in 2019 covering 86% of departures in 2019.” The Federal Aviation Administration revealed earlier this month that in May, Delta pilots missed 19,985 days due to illness, up 45% from 13,786 days in May 2019. In June, Pilot sick days were up 50% from June 2019. Delta also reported in May that its flight attendants missed 43,908 sick days, up 23%, the FAA said.
On August 12, the FAA said Delta may temporarily halt some flights at New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The FAA said as a condition of approval that Delta “should offer customers a refund or rebook them on Delta or another carrier as needed for flights canceled at all three airports.” In July, Democratic Senators Edward Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse and Richard Blumenthal, along with nearly 20 House of Representatives lawmakers, introduced legislation to provide consumers with an “enforceable right to a full cash refund for cancellations of flights and tickets”.
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