US Investigating December Flight Cancellations at Southwest & More Trending News

 

DALLAS (AP) — The U.S. Transportation Department mentioned Wednesday it’s investigating whether or not Southwest Airlines deceived prospects by knowingly scheduling extra flights in late December than it realistically may deal with.

The division mentioned that scheduling too many flights can be thought-about an unfair and misleading observe underneath federal legislation.

“DOT is in the initial phase of a rigorous and comprehensive investigation into Southwest Airlines’ holiday debacle that stranded millions,” the division mentioned in a press release.

The Transportation Department added that it’s going to maintain Southwest accountable if the airline fails to comply with federal guidelines about refunds and reimbursing prospects for bills when flights are canceled. The company mentioned it should “leverage the full extent of its investigative and enforcement power” to guard customers.

Southwest mentioned its vacation schedule “was thoughtfully designed” with “a solid plan to operate it, and with ample staffing.”

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“Our systems and processes became stressed while working to recover from multiple days of flight cancellations across 50 airports in the wake of an unprecedented storm,” Southwest mentioned in a press release. The airline pledged to cooperate with any authorities inquiries and is “focused on learning from this event” and decreasing the chance of a repeat.

Southwest canceled about 16,700 flights over the past 10 days of December. The meltdown started with a winter storm, however Southwest continued to wrestle lengthy after most different airways had recovered, partially as a result of its crew-scheduling system turned overloaded. Union officers mentioned they’d warned the airline for years concerning the system, particularly after related however much less extreme flight disruptions in October 2021.

Dallas-based Southwest finally resorting to reducing its schedule by about two-thirds to reset crews and planes, which it did efficiently.

The airline employed consulting agency Oliver Wyman to review what went mistaken. CEO Robert Jordan has mentioned the corporate may pace up spending on some expertise upgrades on account of the disaster, however that he desires to finish the overview first.

Southwest mentioned this month that the cancellations will price it as much as $825 million in misplaced income and better bills together with premium pay for workers and reimbursing prospects for lodges and alternate flights. As a end result, the corporate is anticipated to submit a fourth-quarter loss when it stories outcomes on Thursday.

The airline can be coping with injury to its repute for customer support. Analysts imagine some prospects might keep away from Southwest for a short while, though airways have normally bounced again shortly from different service failures.

The chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has promised to carry hearings on disruptions just like the one at Southwest.

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US Investigating December Flight Cancellations at Southwest

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US Investigating December Flight Cancellations at Southwest

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US Investigating December Flight Cancellations at Southwest

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