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US investigates December flight cancellations at Southwest

DALLAS (AP) — The US Department of Transportation said Wednesday it is investigating whether Southwest Airlines defrauded customers by knowingly scheduling more flights in late December than it could realistically handle.

The department said scheduling too many flights would be considered unfair and misleading practice under federal law.

“DOT is in the early stages of a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the Southwest Airlines holiday crash that has affected millions of people,” the department said in a statement.

The Department of Transportation added that it will hold Southwest liable if the airline fails to comply with federal rules on refunds and refunds to customers for canceled flights. The agency said it is “using all of its investigative and enforcement powers” to protect consumers.

Southwest said its vacation schedule “has been carefully crafted” with a “clear plan for how it works and with ample staff.”

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