Expedia Lawsuit Over Refunds for Canceled Flights
Expedia has been hit with a class action lawsuit for refusing to issue refunds for flights canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. The lawsuit was filed by Daniel Mahoney who says that Expedia denied him a number refunds for cancelled flights during the coronavirus outbreak. By refusing to refund the price of their airline tickets, the company violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act, Mahoney claims.
This is just the latest lawsuit in coronavirus related cancellations. Thee have been several other filed against travel booking services and especially airlines, earlier this year. Frontier and Southwest are just two of the many airlines that have been hit with lawsuits. Thousands of flights were cancelled early on as the pandemic halted travel around the country and the abroad. Airlines ave refused refunds even though the Department of Transportation has clarified twice this summer that they are required to offer customers full refunds for canceled flights.
Mahoney reportedly purchased a round-trip airline ticket through Expedia in December 2019, to travel from San Francisco to Milan, Italy on July 19 via TAP Air Portugal. He says that he paid $905.08 for the flights. This was well before the pandemic was an issue and there was no cause for concern.
“During this unprecedented global health and economic crisis, consumers’ need for refunds over travel vouchers is pressing,” the lawsuit reads. “Travel vouchers provide little security in this crisis, particularly where many individuals need money now to pay for basics like food and rent.”
On May 24, Mahoney allegedly got a notice from Expedia saying the flight had been cancelled and advising him to respond immediately with his preference for how to proceed. The only option listed in the e-mail was to request a full refund, he said. But, during an online chat with an Expedia agent the next day, he was told he would receive an American Airlines voucher instead and that “the airline would not provide a refund.” When asked again for a refund, the agent ended the chat. A second attempt with a different online agent ended the same way, Mahoney claims.
Mahoney then called Expedia and was able to reach a supervisor who said he would check into the refund options and contact him later. But the response was the same. He could only offer a voucher and no refund from Expedia. That’s clearly against the law, based on what the DoT has said regarding cancelled flights during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mahoney and the proposed Class Members are represented by Daniel F. Johnson, Breskin Johnson and Townsend PLLC.
The Expedia Refund Class Action Lawsuit is Daniel Mahoney, et al. v. Expedia Inc., Case No. 2:20-cv-01296-TSZ, in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington at Seattle.