Buttigieg demands Southwest compensate customers for ‘system failure’ after another 2,500 cancellations

Winter Weather Travel
Travelers wade through unclaimed baggage near the Southwest Airlines baggage carousels at Denver International Airport, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) David Zalubowski/AP

Buttigieg demands Southwest compensate customers for ‘system failure’ after another 2,500 cancellations

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is demanding that Southwest Airlines compensate customers for its “system failure,” as the airline canceled another 2,500 flights.

Southwest canceled 2,508 flights on Wednesday, or 62% of all its flights, according to Flight Aware, with another 144 delayed. Buttigieg stepped up his condemnations of the airline in response, demanding that they fully compensate customers stranded at airports across the country for any meal expenses incurred during their time at the airport.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES MASS CANCELLATIONS PARTLY CAUSED BY OUTDATED SOFTWARE

“We are past the point where they could say that this is a weather-driven issue,” Buttigieg told ABC News on Wednesday morning, according to Fox News, going on to agree with calling the situation with Southwest a “meltdown.”

“What this indicates is a system failure,” he added. “They need to make sure that these stranded passengers get to where they need to go and that they’re provided adequate compensation — not just for the flight itself, and they should absolutely be providing refunds for those flights that are canceled if passengers aren’t able to fly or choose not to fly — but also things like hotels, like ground transportation, like meals, because this is the airline’s responsibility.”

Jordan apologized to customers on Tuesday, blaming the issues on the recent winter storm, which threw off the airline’s “highly complex” network.

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“Our plan for the next few days is to fly a reduced schedule and reposition our people and planes,” he said. “We are making headway, and we are optimistic to be back on track before next week.”

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Thousands of Southwest flights have been canceled over the past week, drawing the ire of the United States government, including President Joe Biden. Company officials admitted that at least part of the problem was caused by outdated scheduling software.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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