Frontier Airlines and 5 other airlines ordered to pay more than $600 million in refunds for canceled flights

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Frontier airliners at Denver International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says Frontier Airlines must pay $222 million in refunds to passengers whose flights were canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Denver-based carrier was also hit with a $2.2 million fine. 

The decision comes as the department cracks down on new federal laws for airlines and ticketing. It says it received numerous complaints from air travelers who failed to receive refunds after their flights were canceled or significantly changed.

Frontier Airlines is the only American air carrier on the list of six airlines facing fines. It was also dealt the steepest penalties. Others on the list include Air India, TAP Portugal, Aeromexico, Israel’s El Al, and Colombia’s Avianca.

The refunds from all six airlines totaled to $622.3 million, while the fines assessed totalled more than $7.25 million. The Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection has assessed $8.1 million in civil penalties in 2022. 

It is the largest amount in one year according to that office.