Lufthansa, KLM, and South African Airways to Refund $903M for COVID-19 Flight Changes

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$903M Refund for COVID-19 Flight Changes

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and South African Airways will refund a combined $903 million to passengers who had flights changed or canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic and pay a combined $2.2 million in penalties for “extreme delays” in processing the requests, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Monday.

$903M Refund for COVID-19 Flight Changes

Under a trio of consent orders, Lufthansa agreed to pay $775 million in passenger refunds plus a $1.1 million penalty; KLM agreed to pay $113 million in refunds and a $1.1 million penalty; and South African Airways will pay $15.2 million in refunds and a $30,000 penalty. The civil penalties are to be paid to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the DOT said.

The DOT’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection said in its consent order against Lufthansa that since March 2020, the department has received more than 2,500 complaints regarding Lufthansa’s handling of refund requests after canceling or significantly changing consumers’ flights to or from the United States. The airline has received tens of thousands of additional complaints, claims, and refund requests, the DOT said.