Following Congress’ approval of a $25 billion bailout for struggling U.S. airlines, several senators have come forward urging 11 major airlines to issue full cash refunds to customers after canceling their flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
At least nine Democratic senators are urging more airlines to refund their customers, including Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Sheldon Whitehouse and Bob Casey. A majority of U.S. airlines are simply waiving cancelation fees rather than offering cash refunds.
“Americans need money now to pay for basic necessities, not temporary credits towards future travel,” the senators wrote.
American Airlines issued a response, claiming its “comprehensive travel waivers we’ve put in place are designed to meet the full range of our customers’ needs.” Other airlines such as Southwest Airlines Co, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have yet to respond.
According to MSN, hundreds of thousands of flights have been canceled by U.S. airlines within the past few weeks. Southwest claimed that 40 percent of flights will be cut from May 3 to June 5, with other carriers such and American, United, Delta and Alaska Airlines cutting over 60 percent of their flights.
While there is little demand for commercial flights in the U.S., the U.S. State Department is working with major airlines to help nearly 50,000 American citizens still abroad who may be in need of rescue flights in order to return home.
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