Southwest is still facing the consequences of its holiday meltdown caused more than 15,000 flight cancelations in the weeks surrounding Christmas—but is making amends to some of its customers.
- Southwest Airlines claims that normal operations resumed on Friday, December 30, after a week in which two-thirds of all its flights were canceled as the airline attempted to reset its systems and help stranded passengers get home.
- The airline is already starting to make amends and is emailing affected customers and offering them 25,000 traveler points, a value of $300 in credit, and an apology signed by Southwest CEO Bob Jordan.
- The offer hasn’t shied from legal trouble from the airline, which received its first class-action lawsuit on Friday as Eric Capdeville approached the federal court in New Orleans with proposed legal action for breach of contract and not properly providing a refund. Southwest is also facing scrutiny from the Department of Transportation.
Why It’s News
As we previously reported, Southwest Airlines was the only major airline to suffer significant setbacks of this severity during the holiday season. Severe weather grounded thousands of flights Christmas week, but confusion resulted in thousands more flights being grounded up through New Years’ weekend. The added stressors of staffing shortages and software failures made the situation worse.
Southwest Airlines has promised reimbursement for all affected fliers. The volume of the situation may create logistical problems as passengers are already struggling to get refunds for flights canceled by the airline. The CEO of Southwest continues to make significant promises though to compensate affected fliers.
“I know that no amount of apologies can undo your experience. For those who have requested refunds, reimbursements and/or are waiting to be reunited with lost bags, those processes are being handled with great urgency. We appreciate your patience,” says Jordan.
Following Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s promise to crack down on the company for its failure if it did not address them, he and Jordan have been in conversation and are “aligned” in their goals of addressing the failures of the collapse, which Jordan admits was “unacceptable.” He has further promised to pay for all extraneous travel expenses for affected fliers.