Southwest Airlines was a complete and utter debacle over the holiday weekend.
Yet again, thousands of flights were canceled.
Some people were stranded, others were forced to cancel holiday plans due to the cancelations.
This had led to not only customer outrage, but the federal government is now stepping in.
Cancelations Happen But…
To be clear, every airline was forced to cancel flights over the weekend.
The big winter storm that hit the east coast cause complete chaos in the industry.
However, Southwest canceled about 70 percent of its flights, far more than any other airline.
I can tell you from personal experience, this is maddening. My last flight with Southwest was canceled eight hours before takeoff, leading to the cancelation of a trip because the airline could not find me a reasonable flight to rebook on.
They credited me the cost of the ticket, but I was out the rest of the money for the trip, which is utterly ridiculous.
This weekend, 48 percent of its flights were delayed on Sunday, 16 percent o Monday, and 60 percent of its flights were canceled on Tuesday.
The Department of Transportation stated, "USDOT is concerned by Southwest Airlines' disproportionate and unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays, as well as the failure to properly support customers experiencing a cancellation or delay.
"As more information becomes available, the department will closely examine whether cancellations were controllable and whether Southwest is complying with its customer service plan, as well as all other pertinent DOT rules."
My question is will the administration actually make them pay restitution to customers for the inconveniences or are they just going to slap the airline with fines?
The airliner responded, "With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our Customers and Employees in a significant way that is unacceptable."
"We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S.
"These operational conditions forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams used to recover the airline operating at capacity."
Southwest further stated that over the next week, it will only be flying about 30 percent of its normal routes.
Southwest used to be one of the best airlines in the business in terms of dependability, but now it seems like it rivals Spirit Airlines. Personally, I doubt I will ever fly them again. It is just too much of a financial risk.
Source: Fox Business