Delta Air Lines has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by passengers upset by flights canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic began and angered by the way refunds for those flights were handled, WSB-TV is reporting.
According to the lawsuit, customers said when Delta canceled flights in March of 2020 as the pandemic lockdown was announced, it breached a contract with passengers. In addition, the suit also requested compensation for the way Delta managed the request for refunds for the flights and the time it took to get those refunds.
According to filings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the customers who brought the suit requested a trial while Delta denied the cancellations and refunds were mishandled.
“Since the beginning of 2020, Delta has refunded more than 11 million bookings totaling $6 billion,” a statement from the company sent to WSB read. “When the dark days of the pandemic in 2020 brought significant impact to our business, we held true to our people-first values and provided cash refunds to those eligible when requested after a canceled flight or significant schedule change.”
According to the settlement, to be eligible for refunds customers must meet specific criteria.
The canceled flight must have been initially scheduled for between March 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, and passengers must have requested refunds through the Delta database but received flight credits instead.
If the credits given for the canceled flight were not used as of Jan. 13 of this year, then those passengers qualify and can submit a form requesting the settlement.
Delta will pay eligible passengers a cash refund for the ticket, plus 7% interest on the original ticket price or will issue a ticket credit that matches the unused credit plus the 7% interest.
Delta has until Aug. 28 to send out notices about the settlement, according to court documents obtained by WSB. Those who qualified for the settlement must submit a claim form by Sept. 15.
No refunds will be issued until after the court’s final approval of the settlement in a hearing scheduled for Oct. 5, the suit says.