Delta eyes refunds over screenings
Delta Air Lines says it will consider refunds in rare case-by-case scenarios for passengers who cancel travel plans because of new airport security measures.
Some passengers have complained loudly about the Transportation Security Administration's new screening procedures, which can include intimate pat-downs of passengers who bypass scanners that produce a virtually naked image of the body.
Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott said Monday that her airline is issuing refunds on a case-by-case basis for customers worried about the new screening steps. The move, however, does not constitute a new refund policy at the airline.
At American Airlines, spokesman Tim Smith says the company isn't changing its ticket policies because it doesn't control the security procedures.
Smith says a non-refundable ticket is still just that: non-refundable if you don't use it.
Officials at Continental and US Airways said much the same thing -- customers could get their money back only if they bought a refundable ticket. Airlines usually charge more for those.
Southwest and United did not answer messages for comment. Southwest lets customers use advance-purchase tickets within 12 months without imposing an additional change fee.
Some travelers threaten to protest the new screening at airports Wednesday. They have said they will refuse to go through the scanning machines and instead force TSA employees to conduct more time-consuming pat-downs. The TSA has asked travelers not to do that because it could snarl holiday travel traffic. Body scans take seconds; Pat-downs up to a couple of minutes.
The Delta and American officials said they were not seeing large numbers of cancelations related to the new security checks, but they had no specific numbers.
"I can't say no one has canceled," Smith said, adding that it's "just not a trend."
Graphic: How the scanners work
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