The bill is steep for Air Canada.

The company agreed on Monday to pay $ 4.5 million to settle lawsuits from the US Department of Transport which accused it of having delayed reimbursing the tickets of thousands of customers at the start of the pandemic.

These passengers had certainly purchased non-refundable tickets but their flights, scheduled at the start of the health crisis from or to the United States, were canceled or significantly modified by the company, details a statement from the American authorities.

2.5 million for passengers and two million for the US Treasury

Under these conditions, if passengers decide to give up their tickets, the companies "have a legal obligation to reimburse consumers" and not only to offer them vouchers.

The office in charge of protecting airline customers within the US department, which had filed a complaint against Air Canada in June, had never negotiated such a high financial penalty.

About $ 2.5 million is intended to compensate passengers who had purchased non-refundable tickets for flights they ultimately decided not to take.

The remaining two million will go to the US Treasury.

The rules currently in force in the United States do not oblige companies to reimburse passengers who decide to no longer travel due to Covid-19.

But the ministry plans to issue new rules for people who cannot travel due to restrictions imposed by the authorities, the statement said.


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