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US State Department Orders Airlines to Offer Refunds

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The United States Transportation Department announced Friday it has issued an order to airlines to refund tickets for canceled or significantly altered flights.

According to coronavirus-usa-airlines/u-s-warns-airlines-to-quickly-refund-tickets-after-canceled-flights-idUSKBN21L2NK” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>Reuters.com, Transportation Department officials said the “longstanding obligation of carriers to provide refunds for flights that carriers cancel or significantly delay does not cease when the flight disruptions are outside of the carrier’s control.”

Carriers in the U.S. and across the world have canceled thousands of flights each day and many have been forced to ground large portions of their fleets as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this week, politicians in Washington asked the CEOs of top airlines in the U.S. to issue full cash refunds to customers who cancel their flights after receiving a rising number of complaints from travelers.

While the federal government has not taken any immediate action against airlines, officials said they would step in if carriers don’t take the opportunity to become compliant, including updating refund policies and contacting eligible passengers in a timely manner.

On Friday, Delta Air Lines announced it is extending the ability for customers to plan and rebook for up to two years, secure the value of their tickets and ensure they’re redeemable for a longer period.

Customers may be concerned about refunds, but airlines continue to step up to help their local communities in the wake of the viral outbreak. For example, United is providing free roundtrip flights for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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Airline News

Survey Highlights Coronavirus Changes Airline Passengers Want

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A recent survey of business and leisure airline passengers highlighted the guidelines and health-related equipment travelers are looking for when boarding a plane during and after the coronavirus outbreak.

According to information from Honeywell, around 72 percent were more concerned with the environment on an airplane than in an airport, which only saw 28 percent of respondents voice the most concern.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents also cited social distancing as their top priority during travel, while about half of those surveyed cited air quality (51 percent) and personal protective equipment such as masks (47 percent) as top priorities.

“This survey demonstrates that passengers want high-tech solutions to best validate the entire travel experience as it relates to health and safety,” Honeywell vice president Kevin Suits said in a statement. “Honeywell offers a variety of relevant solutions today that we can bring forward to support travelers.

“We continue to speak with airline executives and transportation leaders about the types of new products and services that would support their efforts to further clean and monitor the cleanliness of their aircraft,” Suits continued. “We are quickly bringing to market new offerings that would be a win-win for our industry and all of us who love to fly.”

In terms of in-flight amenities most-desired by passengers, masks, hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes top the list. Travelers also revealed that cleanliness validation via technology was by far (60 percent) the most important way to provide confidence.

A portion of surveyed passengers also thinks that providing cleaning supplies directly to the passenger would help ensure confidence in the cleanliness of the cabin.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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