The U.S. Department of Transportation is seeking $25 million from Air Canada for what it calls "extreme delays" in refunding tickets to Americans who booked tickets on flights that the airline never flew.
The department said in a release on Tuesday that its Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP) has launched a formal complaint against the airline due to the carrier's "failure to provide refunds in a timely manner to thousands of consumers who requested them for flights to or from the United States that the carrier cancelled or significantly changed."
According to the release, the agency has heard from more than 6,000 of the airline's American customers, who said they had to wait anywhere from five to 13 months to get their money back from flights that were cancelled. By law, the airline has a week refund a purchase made with a credit card, and up to 20 days for tickets paid for in cash.
"The OACP is seeking a civil penalty of $25,550,000 for Air Canada's extreme delays in providing the required refunds," the department said.
Earlier this year, Air Canada negotiated a bailout package from the federal government that specifically provided millions of dollars to refund customers who paid for tickets on flights that were cancelled due to COVID-19.
More to come.