Airlines spent billions on stock buybacks last year; now complain they don’t have cash to refund consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After spending 2019 buying back at least $5.7 billion of their own stock, the major airlines now say they don’t have enough cash to refund consumers for cancelled flights during the COVID19 crisis. This is after the companies have asked the federal government for billions of dollars in financial assistance and after the US Department of Transportation ordered the airlines to refund tickets for cancelled flights.
Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US, said, “The airline industry spent 2019 showering their shareholders with cash instead of making sure their finances were prepared for an economic downturn. And now CEOs want customers to foot the bill for their shortsighted business decisions. The Trump administration needs to ensure that airlines passengers whose flights were cancelled through no fault of their own receive a full refund — anything less will just add to the economic headwinds facing hard working Americans during this crisis.”