Delta Air Lines has refunded more than 11 million tickets worth a total of $6 billion since the start of 2020
- Delta Air Lines has issued $6 billion in refunds, comprising more than 11 million tickets, since the start of 2020.
- CEO Ed Bastian said 20% of these refunds are from 2022, which has been unusually bad for air travel.
The onslaught of flight delays and cancelations this year has proven expensive for passengers — but it's also cost airlines a pretty penny.
Now, Delta Air Lines has said just how much it's paid out in flight refunds over the past few years.
In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Delta CEO Ed Bastian revealed the company has spent billions to refund tickets since the pandemic began.
"Since the beginning of 2020 we've refunded over 11 million tickets totaling $6 billion," Bastian wrote in his letter, which was made public Wednesday.
For context, Delta says it has more than 4,000 flights each day and as many as 200 million customers per year.
Bastian added that 20% of these refunds were made in 2022, which has been a particularly tumultuous year for air travel.
"Delta's 2022 capacity restoration compared to 2019 is the lowest among our competitors," he continued.
Bastian wrote his remarks in response to an initial letter from Buttigieg to multiple major airlines, in which the Transportation Secretary called this year's particularly bad flight disruptions "unacceptable." Buttigieg also urged airlines to give passengers meal vouchers for delays of three hours or more and hotel accommodations in instances where they're stuck overnight.
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