Trio of European Airlines Fined $550K for Disabled Traveler Complaints
The U.S. Transportation Department announced Thursday that Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa have been fined a combined $550,000 for insufficient responses to complaints made against them by disabled travelers, USA Today reported.
The penalties are the result of the three European airlines' improper responses to complaints made between 2012 to 2015.
Both Air France and British Airways failed to summarize the complaints' facts, admit or deny violations and advise the travelers on how to pursue a DOT investigation.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa failed to inform the complaining passengers about the option of a department investigation, instead only providing them basic contact information.
All three carriers accepted the fines.
Under its agreement, Air France will pay the government $140,000 in installments and agreed to receive a credit of $55,000 for vouchers and frequent-flier miles for travelers who filed complaints in 2013.
The airline will also invest $5,000 on a disabilities service survey.
British Airways will pay the government $75,000 within a month's time and shell out another $75,000 if it fails to handle complaints properly over the course of the next year.
Similarly, Lufthansa agreed to pay $100,000 within a month and another $100,000 if it is found guilty of additional shortcomings in the next year.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told USA Today that "when air travelers file complaints with airlines, they deserve prompt and complete responses that appropriately answer their specific concerns."
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