The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued two notices related to airline service obligations and consumer protections.

The air service notices are additional steps being taken by DOT is in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

These follow after the department has seen a record rise in the number of air travel service complaints and inquiries.

In March and April, the DOT received more than 25,000 air travel service complaints and inquiries in comparison with around 1,500 filed a month.

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Most of the complaints and inquiries were related to refunds.

As a result, the USDOT has issued a second Enforcement Notice regarding airline ticket refunds. The notice will also serve as a guide to the airlines and ticket agents.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said: “The department has received an unprecedented volume of complaints from passengers and is examining this issue closely to ensure that airlines’ policies and practices conform to DOT’s refund rules.

“The department is asking all airlines to revisit their customer service policies and ensure they are as flexible and considerate as possible to the needs of passengers who face financial hardship during this time.”

Additionally, through a Notice of Adjustments to Service Obligations, the DOT has announced an incremental adjustment to service obligations under Order 2020-4-2, in relation to the challenges faced by US airlines.

The department is continuing to monitor the impacts of the Covid-19 public health emergency on the commercial aviation industry.

In a separate development, the DOT is acting on requests filed by United Airlines, Silver Airways, and Tradewind Aviation for exemption from the CARES Act airline service obligations announced in Order 2020-4-2.