Hundreds of thousands travelers’ plans hung in the air How outdated planning system coupled with severe winter storm caused the historic collapse of Southwest Airlines.
Now many of these travelers are demanding refunds.
The company states that anyone seeking a refund or compensation should send receipts to Southwest.com.
Southwest says it will honor “reasonable reimbursement requests for food, accommodation and alternative transportation,” although the company did not specify what constitutes a “reasonable” expense.
The airline initially offered to compensate passengers for the cost of air tickets using its own funds. travel portalbut the increase in page traffic leads to delays.
- Error messages: The Southwest website does not state that “high demand may affect the functionality of our website.”
- Exceptions: The portal also notes that customers who have at least partly flown their itinerary or booked through a third party are excluded from using the portal. Southwest redirects these people to the customer service line. However, due to high demand, customers are unable to reach a representative by phone.
- Availability: Thousands of people flood the airline’s website to rebook and flights sell out quickly. Southwest is asking non-urgent travelers to “do not call if you are not traveling within the next 72 hours.” The airline has urged people to keep the website up to date instead to see if any flights come up.
The company has faced harsh criticism from passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said flight reimbursements are not enough and the airline is now facing a federal investigation.
On Wednesday, Buttigieg tweeted:
Just as we have used our regulatory and enforcement tools to secure more than $622,000,000 of reimbursement for hundreds of thousands of U.S. air passengers this year alone, USDOT will continue to operate to ensure that Southwest passengers receive the reimbursement and reimbursement they are owed.
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) December 29, 2022