Southwest Airlines has partially blamed “scheduling problems” for canceling thousands of flights over the holiday.
Initially, airlines blamed weather alone for the week-long travel disruptions after an arctic blast caused cold temperatures, high winds and snow across the country.
Southwest said it will reimburse “reasonable” requests such as meals, hotel stays and other transportation.
Southwest Airlines says “scheduling issues” were partly responsible for the airline’s holiday meltdown, with thousands of flights canceled and customers stranded at airports across the country.
In a statement to insiders, the airline said an issue with its scheduling tools was responsible in part for the confusion.
“The Southwest team is working to accommodate customers as quickly as possible with available flights and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” the airline said.
The company also said it would honor “reasonable” customer requests for refunds for things like meals, hotel stays or transportation to destinations.
“We encourage customers to submit receipts for refunds, and we have assisted hotels in some situations,” he told Insider.
According to Southwest Airlines’ customer service plan, the airline guarantees compensation such as meal tickets and hotel stays for delays and cancellations “under our control.”
In the event of delays beyond the control of the airline, such as weather events or air traffic control problems, the airline undertakes to rebook the passenger on the next available flight at no additional charge or refund the ticket. increase.
Southwest initially blamed this week’s travel disruptions on the lingering effects of brutal gusts in the Arctic that sent temperatures plummeting, sending snowstorms across the country and killing dozens of people.
The mayhem happened just before Christmas, leaving thousands of people stranded at the airport, with no luggage and no way to reach their final destination. Southwest says he may have to wait until Dec. 31 for customers to rebook.
Southwest captain Mike Santoro, vice president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), told Insider that the airline’s system had so many problems that schedulers manually screened the crew. .
“There were four of us [flight attendants] We were ready, but the system didn’t know where they were, so we canceled the flight, but we didn’t have to,” Santoro told Insider.
Customers wishing to rebook their flight or request a refund can visit the airline’s Travel Disruption page.
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