‘This is a travesty’: Airlines face lawsuits over COVID-19 refunds

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — Many central Florida travelers are still feeling the financial fallout from COVID-19.

An Ormond Beach woman says she’s been fighting for a refund from the airline for a flight she never took.

“This is a travesty, a travesty what they’re doing to people,” Marsha Moskowitz said.

Moskowitz has been asking Southwest Airlines for a refund for a very long time.

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“I’ve tried now since over a year,” Moskowitz said.

She paid over $500 for two tickets to Baltimore last January, right before COVID-19, for a wedding that was supposed to take place in May of 2020.

“We were on lockdown, cancelled trip, cancelled everything, the wedding took place on Zoom,” Moskowitz said.

Southwest gave Moskowitz credits for future tickets that expire later next year. Moskowitz says she has no reason to travel, doesn’t feel safe, and doesn’t think it’s fair for the airlines to hold on to her cash.

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“I’m on limited income, Social Security. I would like to have my $500 back in my pocket,” Moskowitz said.

Recently, a federal judge gave the green light to a class-action lawsuit against Southwest Airlines, filed on behalf of consumers seeking COVID-19 travel refunds.

The class-action, filed in Pennsylvania, claims breach of contract, and accuses Southwest of not following DOT’s enforcement notice that advised airlines to give customers full refunds if flights were cancelled due to COVID-19.

“These vouchers and credits are frankly, just not good enough,” Jacob Van Cleef said.

Van Cleef is with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and has monitored a wave of passenger complaints over the past year.

“Years past when the consumer is not at fault, the consumer is not the one that has to deal with a voucher or credit, it’s the airlines who gives the refunds,” Van Cleef said.

Action 9 contacted Southwest Airlines and that same week, they told Moskowitz she would be getting her money back.

So far, Southwest has no additional comment.

“I think Southwest should open their eyes and see that there are a lot of disgruntled people and they should do something about it without us having to do a class-action suit,” Moskowitz said.

Several other airlines are also facing legal challenges over COVID-19 refunds. If you are still battling for your money, make sure to file a complaint with the U.S. Department Of Transportation.

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.