Los Angeles – The winter holidays are said to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for the thousands of stranded travelers, the nightmare they’ve had in the last few days has been a Halloween horror movie as opposed to Hallmark’s Christmas special. It symbolizes
Simply put, there is no place like home and travelers do what they can and come back.
Earlier this year, Southwest Airlines was ranked as the best basic economy airline by JD Power. But major winter storms and other factors have forced the airline to cancel nearly 16,000 flights nationwide since December 22nd.
Award-winning travel journalist Peter Greenberg joined Good Day LA on Wednesday to offer tips for frustrated passengers.
Not only Southwest Airlines
Greenberg said Southwest wasn’t the only airline dealing with delays and cancellations, but it was the hardest hit.
“They knew the storm was coming, not just the Southwest. “Within 48 hours, they can keep the plane and crew in place so they can depart quickly when the storm front recedes.”
He explained that other airlines canceled about 5% of flights before the storm hit, while Southwest canceled only 1%. Now the company has canceled 62% to 70% of his flights since Monday.
“This is an unacceptable level and has nothing to do with the weather,” he said.
Southwest’s system is outdated
In these conditions, Southwest’s technology could not keep up with the times.
“Their internal communications systems are outdated and rely on outdated technology that literally could not communicate with pilots and flight attendants. Conversely, flight attendants and pilots could not communicate with airlines,” he said. .
To add fuel to the fire, he said at one point Southwestern officials didn’t even know where many of their planes were.
Southwest’s Challenging Policies
A big perk of Southwest Airlines is that bags fly for free. Disadvantage? They don’t necessarily play with other guys.
“Southwest Airlines doesn’t have what’s called an interline agreement with other airlines, which allows you to go home with a new door, a ticket to another airline,” Green said. Berg said. “Not only that, but we’re on vacation, so other airlines probably don’t have vacancies right now.”
So what can you do?
Southwest passengers can choose to buy another ticket with another airline, Greenberg said, but that’s often the more expensive option. Alternatively, you can form a “committee of fresh airport friends” and rent a car to drive home.
What happens to the luggage stuck at the airport?
FOX 11’s Mario Ramirez was at LAX Wednesday morning to show off his luggage piled up in the Southwest’s baggage claim.
“If the passenger is on the plane, the bags don’t fly, so those bags probably won’t be back for another five or six days.”
Are Southwest Airlines passengers eligible for refunds?
Greenberg suggests keeping receipts and paperwork whenever possible. Then you can claim later.
“I believe Southwest Airlines should run a lot of checks to pay people for hotels, meals or car rentals they had to go and rent,” he said. Told. “So the key here, if you’re one of those people, is to keep a receipt with a paper trail. Southwest.”
How do weather refunds with other airlines work?
“An airline that cancels a flight is entitled to a full and immediate refund, regardless of how much you paid for the ticket, even in the weather under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. [or] How to pay for your ticket. Even if you buy a so-called non-refundable ticket, you do not need to receive a voucher or credit for future flights. You are entitled to that refund immediately,” said Greenberg.
Will Southwest be held responsible?
Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Bob Jordan apologized on Tuesday, saying he was “really sorry.” The airline holiday meltdown is currently under federal investigation.
“This is not a weather issue,” Greenberg said, noting that it could be related to Southwest Airlines’ operations management, for example.
“They were a mess. Their own CEO admitted the same thing. And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also said it in regards to their investigation. There will be financial consequences in the form of fines imposed on them by the dogs.”