But Delta says it didn’t receive a refund request from Elliot Daniels until just before he filed suit.
A prospective class action is targeting Delta Air Lines for its refusal to refund flights canceled amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the lawsuit was filed Friday by Elliot Daniels in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta. Daniels, who’s hoping to add other “similarly situate” consumers to the class, is seeking a jury trial.
Altogether, the lawsuit alleges that Delta has been made it increasingly “difficult, if not impossible, for customers to receive any refund[s]” as flights continue to be canceled due to coronavirus.
Daniels, writes Fox News, had purchased two round-trip tickets from Washington Dulles to Cairo, Egypt. The tickets cost him just over $3,000. While Daniels was scheduled to depart at the beginning of April, Delta canceled the first part of his itinerary in March. Although the airline initially offered a complimentary departure-date change, it canceled that flight, too.
Delta then allegedly offered Daniels a travel voucher, good for a single year from the date of his original purchase.
“Delta is focused on keeping passenger money through providing travel credits, not refunds,” the lawsuit states.
Daniels says he wants Delta to pay monetary damages to consumers who’ve been similarly affected by Delta’s last-minute cancelations and changes.
“That Delta is offering time-limited vouchers during an unprecedented time of chaos and uncertainty in our nation’s history only underscores its primary focus of profits over people, and we intend to fight for their right to monetary relief,” attorney Steve Berman of the Hagens Berman law firm said in a statement. “Americans are losing their sources of income at alarming rates. Vouchers just won’t cut it.”
The Constitution-Journal notes that similar lawsuits have been filed against United Airlines and Southwest. And customers have continued to face problems in collecting refunds even as the federal government has ordered them.
“A passenger is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason,” said the Department of Transportation, adding that consumers are within their rights to decline rebooking. Furthermore, the DOT says that carriers who cancel flights should provide refunds in quick order.
“Instead,” the lawsuit says, “Delta represents it will only rebook and/or provide travel vouchers.”
The filing condemns Delta for allegedly playing unfair with consumers in light of the federal government’s multi-billion-dollar bailout for the airline industry.
“But despite the faucet of taxpayer money that will flow its way, Delta refuses to comply with the law or operate in the interests of its customers,” the lawsuit says.
Interestingly, Delta claims that Daniels didn’t request a refund until just before he filed his lawsuit. The airline also alleges that it “gladly issued [Daniels’] refund” less than 24 hours after he launched the case.