Delta passengers denied refunds for canceled flights are getting paid

Photo (c) Japatino - Getty Images

Hundreds of flights were canceled during the first year of the pandemic

If you were booked on a Delta Airlines flight that was canceled in the first year of the pandemic and were denied a refund, you probably have some money coming to you.

The airline has settled a class-action lawsuit brought by several passengers who say Delta violated federal law when it refused to refund the fare. When an airline cancels a flight it is required by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) rules to provide a refund, not a voucher for a future flight.

Specifically, the people who will benefit from the settlement are people who purchased a non-refundable ticket on Delta for a flight to depart between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021. If Delta canceled the flight and the traveler was denied a request for a refund, the passenger should receive compensation from the settlement.

According to the law firm administering the settlement, the amount of compensation will vary, determined by several factors including the cost of the ticket.

Delta agreed to settle the suit without admitting any wrongdoing. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, according to

Eligible consumers can choose to receive a cash payment or a credit with the airline. They can also be paid for any remaining unused credit they may have received from the airline, plus interest.

Important dates

Here are some important dates:

  • Aug. 31, 2023 - The deadline to be excluded from the settlement 

  • Sept. 15, 2023 - The deadline to submit a claim form

  • Oct. 5, 2023 - The final approval hearing for the settlement 

  • Oct. 5, 2023 - The deadline to submit a valid claim form

To receive compensation you must submit proof of purchase, such as the ticket number and flight date.

You can get the claim process started here. The settlement website provides more information.

This may not be the last airline settlement over denied refunds. Passengers of many other carriers reported the same experience during the early days of the pandemic.

According to DOT, if your flight is canceled, most airlines will rebook you for free on their next flight to your destination as long as the flight has available seats. 

If your flight is canceled and you choose to cancel your trip as a result, you are entitled to a refund for the unused transportation – even for non-refundable tickets.  You are also entitled to a refund for any bag fee that you paid, and any extras you may have purchased, such as a seat assignment.  

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