Three US-based airlines have agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for violating consumer protection rules. The fines have been levied against Delta, American Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. The documents detailing the violations and fines levied against the three were released late on Friday, July 21.

Three major U.S. airlines fined heavily for violating rules

The fines were levied based on separate investigations that were carried out by the Transportation Department. The government ceded that American Airlines will have to shell out $250,000 after it was discovered that it failed its promise to refund its passengers in time in 2015.

The investigation against American Airlines commenced in 2016 after the Transportation Department received numerous complaints from customers over delays in refunds. According to established rules, an airline is bound to refund its passengers within 7 business days if the passenger makes the payment via a credit card.

Shannon Gilson, a spokeswoman from American Airlines, stated that the company had taken steps to address the issue. Gilson also revealed that the refunds in 2015 did not take place due to a systems integration issue, which the airlines faced after its merger with the US Airways.

Additionally, Delta Airlines was ordered to pay $200,000 to resolve baggage complaint issues.The investigation showed that Delta Airlines had reported a smaller number of mishandled baggage complaints instead of the actual number of complaints it received.

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For the unfamiliar, airlines are required to give monthly reports detailing the numbers of such complaints to the Transportation Department, which they receive from flyers.

Frontier Airlines, on the other hand, was asked to pay a fine of $400,000. According to the Transportation Department, Frontier Airlines had involuntarily taken passengers off overbooked flights without first looking for volunteers or providing compensation within a prescribed period.

Airlines respond to accusations

Delta stated that the management has updated the airlines policy with regards to damaged bags in 2016 after the carrier was alerted by the government. Apart from that, the airline has also tried its best to keep full transparency in the procedure of returning bags to the owner through the FlyDelta app. Frontier Airlines - other than being accused of taking off passengers involuntarily from over booked flights - has also been charged with not providing wheelchair assistance to disabled passengers. The airline has neither acknowledged nor disagreed with the claims.