A group of US Senators have urged major US airlines to start repaying customers with refunds rather than credit vouchers. They say they have a “moral responsibility” to do so, having secured billions in taxpayers’ money to bail them out.
“We believe your company has a moral responsibility to provide real refunds, not travel vouchers, to consumers, and to support State Department efforts to repatriate any American citizens trying to come home. Americans need money now to pay for basic necessities, not temporary credits towards future travel,” the nine senators said in a letter to the CEOs of 11 airlines.
The letter was signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Sheldon Whitehouse and Bob Casey.
The lawmakers want the airlines to publicly disclose “the total value” of all travel vouchers and credits issued and the total number flights that they have cancelled.
Only American Airlines has made a response to the letter so far. American says its “comprehensive travel waivers are designed to meet the full range of our customers’ needs”.
Airlines are also facing heat over the issue in Canada. A class action lawsuit was filed against Swoop, WestJet, Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing for a refusal to issue refunds.