美国交通部 (DOT) 重申航司航变退款规则:必须现金退款不能只退代金券

1. 概述

4月3日,美国交通部(DOT,Department of Transportation)公布了一个声明,重申在COVID-19病毒疫情时期,航司仍然应该遵守航变情况下机票的退款规则。原文在这里

这个声明强调了下面几条:

  • The Department is receiving an increasing number of complaints and inquiries from ticketed passengers, including many with non-refundable tickets, who describe having been denied refunds for flights that were canceled or significantly delayed. In many of these cases, the passengers stated that the carrier informed them that they would receive vouchers or credits for future travel.

    DOT 收到了更多的关于航变(航班取消或者较大晚点)之后航司拒绝退款的投诉。在这些情况下,航司都只愿意退代金券(vouchers or credits)。

  • U.S. and foreign airlines remain obligated to provide a prompt refund to passengers for flights to, within, or from the United States when the carrier cancels the passenger’s scheduled flight or makes a significant schedule change and the passenger chooses not to accept the alternative offered by the carrier.  The obligation of airlines to provide refunds, including the ticket price and any optional fee charged for services a passenger is unable to use, does not cease when the flight disruptions are outside of the carrier’s control (e.g., a result of government restrictions).

    DOT 重申,美国和国外航司,有责任对于涉及美国的航班航变提供及时的现金退款。退款应该包括机票价格和涉及的所有税费,而且这个退款责任不能因为政府限制飞行而不是航司本身原因就不退。

  • DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office will exercise its enforcement discretion and provide carriers with an opportunity to become compliant before taking further action.

    DOT 会给航司机会自己做到正确退款,如果航司拒不执行,DOT 会采取强制措施。

2. 分析

DOT 的这个声明主要是针对最近一些航司频繁变动的拒绝在航变时候退款的条例。一个例子是美联航(UA)。

UA 在3月初几次修改自己的退改票政策(见此文),在有些这样的政策里,因为航变的退票,也只能退1年有效代金券(voucher),不过有的政策说明,如果这个代金券在1年结束还没有用掉,金额会退回订票人信用卡。无论这个条款怎么说,只要航变只给退代金券不能现在就退回信用卡,这些操作就是违反 DOT 规定的。

遇到任何航司涉及美国的航班在航变的情况下只给退代金券不把钱直接退回信用卡,无论是以后的航班还是之前的航班,都可以尝试再次联系航空公司协商退款,如果航空公司拒不退,可以直接联系 DOT 强制航空公司退款。向 DOT 投诉可以在 DOT 网站填表格:这里


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