The US authority had sentenced TAP to pay a €1 million fine for the delay in refunds to customers for pandemic-related cancellations amounting to €122 million.
The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has reduced TAP’s fine from €1 million to around €550,000 for delayed reimbursements to customers worth €122 million, an official source from the airline told Lusa on Tuesday.
“The fact that the company has already done so [the full refunds], and in good faith, including to passengers who legally would not be entitled to the refund, led the DoT to reduce the fine to around €550,000,” TAP said.
The US authority had sentenced TAP to pay a €1 million fine for the delay in refunds to customers for pandemic-related cancellations amounting to €122 million, which the airline had reportedly paid “in full”.
“While our mostly manual refund process was up to the task before the pandemic, our 90% reduced workforce, combined with an avalanche of refund requests due to Covid-19, meant we were unable to handle the massive and unprecedented requests in a timely manner, which were often complicated with multiple booking and payment systems,” TAP’s official source explained in a written response to Lusa.
The airline also said it hired additional staff as soon as it was financially able to do so and invested in “implementing automated solutions to facilitate refunds, which have since all been paid and accounted for”.
“We take the DoT rules very seriously and are fully committed to complying with them. We have made good faith efforts to process customer refunds as promptly as possible during the extraordinarily challenging circumstances caused by Covid-19,” TAP stressed.