5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side explains how to get an airline refund instead of a voucher

Posted May 6, 2020 10:31 p.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2020 11:14 p.m. EDT

— With such limited flights into and out of RDU International Airport, terminals and planes are just about empty.

In fact, the number of passengers screened by TSA at the airport in April averaged 95.8 percent below April of last year.

But many customers whose flights were canceled because of coronavirus, complain they're getting flight credits instead of refunds.

RDU International Airport

Under Federal law, when an airline cancels a flight or makes a significant schedule change, passengers are entitled to a full refund.

But some carriers are offering vouchers as the default option, and requiring passengers to take extra steps to get a cash refund.

Last month, the US DOT issued an "Enforcement Notice" related to coronavirus, saying "… U.S. and foreign airlines remain obligated to provide a prompt refund to passengers for flights to, within, or from the United States…" when travel is interrupted.

Many consumer advocates, including Consumer Reports, believe passengers should get refunds even if they choose to cancel a flight because of COVID-19. CR started a petition, now nearing 100,000 signatures, demanding refunds.

CR points to airlines getting $50B in relief from the government, adding ... "Consumers deserve the same treatment as giant corporations when it comes to getting financial help during this unprecedented time!"

If you're offered a voucher from an airline for a canceled flight and want a refund, push for it.

If you paid with a credit card, dispute the charge.

And file a complaint with the US DOT.

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