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American Airlines Returns Over Half Billion in Refunds to Customers

American Airlines has lost over $2 billion in the first quarter, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. The major airline processed nearly $600 million in refunds alone to customers during the month of April, and they expect that number to rise in the coming months. American is anticipated to have over $400 million refunds in May and $200 million in June before the company balances out refunds for cancelled flights.

However, there are differences between refunds for airline-cancelled flights and customer-cancelled flights. Customers are eligible for vouchers for future travel if they cancel a planned flights themselves, whereas if the airline cancels a flight, customers can receive a refund for the amount paid for the ticket. Re-routed itineraries are also ineligible for cash refunds unless the airline changed the itinerary.

In June, the airline expects to cut capacity for international flights by 80 percent in June and 70 percent for domestic. There are only 15 flights out of NYC airports and Miami has stopped service almost entirely to Miami International, operating just 15 percent of normal flights.