U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection has announced that it has filed a formal complaint with Air Canada due to the carrier failing to provide timely refunds for consumers flying to/from the United States that the carrier canceled or significantly changed. It is seeking a civil penalty of $25,550,000.
Air Canada only began offering full cash refunds for these flights in April 2021, covering flights from February 2020. The DoT issued airlines two enforcement notices (1, 2) and Air Canada then stated they didn’t need to provide refunds. At the time I stated it was disappointing that the DoT hadn’t followed up on the enforcement notices so it’s good to see this. A civil penalty of $25.5 seems laughably small given the amount of refunds involved.