The U.S. government has reviewed an “unacceptable” level of cancellations by Southwest Airlines, causing widespread travel disruptions across the country.
The Dallas-based airline canceled about 87% of its flights on Tuesday, or more than 25,000, and warned it would continue to do so until its schedule got back on track.
Airlines have already canceled 61% of flights on Wednesday and 14% on Thursday, according to FlightAware.
Now, the Biden administration says it is investigating the situation.
“Thousands of flights canceled across the country around the holidays. Our administration is working to ensure airlines are held accountable,” Joe Biden tweeted on Tuesday. did.
The president also directed travelers to the Department of Transportation’s website, which explains the airline’s obligations to customers.
Southwest Airlines has a much higher cancellation rate than any other airline, with Spirit Airlines having the next highest number of cancellations on Tuesday with 83.
American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways had cancellation rates ranging from zero to 2% by Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
Ministry of Transport said in a statement Monday: “USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s reports of unacceptable cancellation rates and delays and lack of prompt customer service. We will investigate compliance with
The airline delays came as brutal winter storms wreaked havoc on travelers across the United States, with frigid weather killing dozens and thousands still without power. .
Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan and COO Andrew Watterson explained the company’s failure in a message to staff Monday night obtained by CNN.
“We had legitimate people. We had aircraft available, but the process of matching those crews to the aircraft was something our technology couldn’t handle,” Watterson said. . “For the states we want, we have solvers that can do it very quickly and accurately. Our current system can’t do that.”