US Transportation Dept. investigating Southwest holiday travel meltdown


The US Transportation Division mentioned it’s within the early levels of an investigation into the Southwest Airways vacation journey meltdown in December.

The probe consists of an examination of whether or not Southwest is scheduling extra flights than it might probably deal with.

“DOT is within the preliminary part of a rigorous and complete investigation into Southwest Airways’ vacation debacle that stranded thousands and thousands,” a spokesperson for the division mentioned.

The airline, America’s largest home provider, canceled greater than 16,700 flights between December 21 and 29. Southwest estimates the price of these cancellations might be someplace between $725 million and $825 miilion. A bit greater than half the price — between $400 million and $425 million — will come from misplaced ticket income that might be refunded to clients.

“DOT has made clear to Southwest that it should present well timed refunds and reimbursements and can maintain Southwest accountable if it fails to take action. DOT can also be probing whether or not Southwest executives engaged in unrealistic scheduling of flights which underneath federal regulation is taken into account an unfair and misleading apply. DOT will leverage the total extent of its investigative and enforcement energy to make sure customers are protected and this course of will proceed to evolve because the Division learns extra,” the spokesperson mentioned.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg beforehand mentioned the division “will use the fullest extent of its investigative and enforcement powers” if the airline doesn’t observe via on reimbursing vacationers for his or her additional bills.