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Delta Air Lines issues $6B in refunds since 2020

Delta CEO Ed Bastian told the Department of Transportation that the carrier issued $6 billion in refunds for disrupted flights since the beginning of 2020.


In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, made public Wednesday, Bastian said the carrier has refunded more than 11 million tickets, underscoring its commitment to customer service amid a trying time for the industry. About 20% of those refunds occurred so far this year, he added.


"Delta continues to provide full and timely refunds to eligible passengers requesting them when we have cancelled a flight or made a significant schedule change," Bastian said in the letter.


Bastian also said the airline gave an extra 10,000 miles to SkyMiles members who experienced an interruption between May 1 and July 7.


Delta Air Lines told FOX Business in a statement on Wednesday that helping customers with travel disruptions is one of its top priorities.


The letter comes after scores of flights were delayed and canceled this summer due to bad weather, air traffic control issues and staffing shortages. The issues persisted throughout the busy travel season even as airlines invested in measures to restore operational integrity.


In July, Bastian apologized for the carrier's issues, telling customers that the airline's performance throughout the second quarter "has not been up to our industry-leading standards."


"I'd like to sincerely apologize to those who have been impacted by cancellations, delays, and long wait times over the last two months," Bastian said at the time.


Still, Buttigieg lambasted the CEOs of 10 U.S. airlines earlier this month, telling them that his department could take action if carriers don’t provide more transparency on why the disruptions are occurring, calling the problems in recent months "unacceptable."


In Bastian's latest note, the chief executive said that the airline's "team of 80,000 professionals is focused on delivering a reliable, high-quality experience and minimizing inconvenience when circumstances disrupt scheduled operations" for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.


Bastian also noted that the airline made "significant investments to ensure safe, efficient operational reliability and fast recovery" for when weather and air traffic control issues disrupted operations over the summer as demand snapped back.


The carried adjusted its schedule and provided crews "with added buffer time to help adjust to factors like summer thunderstorms and air traffic control constraints," Bastian added.


He also said that its "pilot resources are more robust today" than during pre-pandemic times. Bastian says the carrier has 91% of 2019 active pilots covering 86% of 2019 departures.


This article originally appeared on Fox Business


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