New Audit Announcements
Audit Initiated of DOT’s Oversight of Consumer Protection for Airline Ticket Refunds
As the air travel industry began to respond and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it experienced an increase in flight delays and cancellations as well as consumer requests for airline ticket refunds. In the early months of the pandemic, many passengers were reluctant to travel and sought airline ticket refunds, even if their flights were operating as scheduled. Airlines had trouble processing the significant volume of refund requests in a timely manner and were initially reluctant to provide the required refunds. Given DOT’s responsibility to enforce consumer protection laws along with the rise in consumers’ airline ticket refund complaints in recent years, we are initiating this audit. Our audit objectives will be to assess DOT’s (1) process for reviewing consumer complaints for airline ticket refunds and (2) efforts to hold airlines accountable for providing timely refunds to consumers.