February 8, 2023

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Federal officials say they are acting on ‘thousands’ of complaints related to Southwest meltdown

(CNN) — Federal officials say they are performing on “thousands” of complaints by Southwest Airways shoppers just after its days-extended vacation vacation meltdown — such as grievances that Southwest is not building good on its pledge to problem refunds.

The Section of Transportation “has despatched every single grievance directly to Southwest” and is now demanding the airline “give substantive responses” to every single within 60 times.

“Since the Southwest meltdown, DOT has gained hundreds of customer problems about Southwest — which include problems about absence of ticket refunds and reimbursements for services when a traveler was stranded,” the Department of Transportation stated in a statement offered to start with to CNN.

Southwest Airways informed CNN on Tuesday that it is processing requests for refunds in an normal of about a few days. The airline reported it is processing “tens of hundreds” of requests each day and is complying with DOT restrictions.

“Southwest intends to, and is making each work, to initiate refunds and reimbursements as we’ve stated in our Purchaser Services System — which is in alignment with the corresponding laws,” the airline’s statement claimed.

The Section of Transportation has essential Southwest to honor passenger refund requests “within 7 enterprise times if the traveler compensated for the ticket by card and 20 days if they paid out by income or check out,” if Southwest canceled or drastically delayed a flight, “irrespective of the cause.”

Southwest suggests it canceled much more than 16,000 flights in between December 21 and December 31, noting in a money submitting that the cascading logistical failures cost the airline in between $725 million and $825 million in misplaced income, added crew costs, and passenger refunds.

Southwest prospects ought to 1st file their refund request with Southwest by way of its web site, the DOT advises. If they are not obtaining refunds, they should really then file a complaint with DOT.

This announcement will come just after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg explained to Southwest leaders on December 29 that the company will “use the fullest extent of its investigative and enforcement powers to hold Southwest accountable if it fails to adhere to the promises manufactured to reimburse travellers.”

Top rated graphic: Southwest Airlines planes at Baltimore Washington Worldwide Airport (BWI) on December 28, 2022. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)