Lawmakers Propose Legislation for Refunds for All Cancelled Flights
Several lawmakers have proposed legislation that would require airlines to offer refunds to all passengers. Airlines are already required to refund tickets that they cancel. That has already been an issue, which required the Department of Transportation to issue a second warning. The new proposal would go even further and require refunds even for tickets cancelled by passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Most airlines have changed their policies during the pandemic by waiving change and cancellation fees. But they are only offering vouchers and travel credits to travelers holding nonrefundable tickets who proactively cancel their flights. The ‘Cash Refunds for Coronavirus Cancellations Act of 2020‘ was introduced by Senator Ed Markey.
The legislation would allow airlines to pay for cash refunds with any emergency money made available by Congress, except for CARES Act grants designated for supporting worker payroll expenses and employee benefits. The law would also apply retroactively to any flight on or after March 1, 2020.
Markey said he will push to make the next government stimulus package contain a provision guaranteeing that airlines with refund all cancelled flights. It is estimated that airlines are holding about $10 billion in the form of travel credits issued during the pandemic.