America Division of Transportation introduced an investigation into whether or not Southwest Airways deceived vacationers by scheduling extra flights in late December than the service might deal with.
Based on The Related Press, Transportation Division officers mentioned they’ve launched a “rigorous and complete investigation” into the 16,700 flight cancellations during the last 10 days of December.
The federal government is seeking to decide if Southwest’s determination to schedule too many flights may very well be thought-about “an unfair and misleading observe beneath federal legislation.” Officers mentioned they might additionally maintain the airline accountable if it fails to fulfill requirements for refunds and reimbursements.
In a press release, the Transportation Division mentioned it could “leverage the complete extent of its investigative and enforcement energy” to guard vacationers. The Christmas chaos began with a winter storm, nevertheless it was an overloaded crew-scheduling system that compelled so many disruptions.
Union officers revealed they’d beforehand warned Southwest concerning the potential points.
In response to the federal government’s investigation, Southwest mentioned its December schedule was “thoughtfully designed,” however admitted it was working with consulting agency Oliver Wyman to review what went fallacious.
“Our programs and processes turned confused whereas working to get well from a number of days of flight cancellations throughout 50 airports within the wake of an unprecedented storm,” Southwest mentioned in a press release.
Southwest CEO Robert Jordan mentioned the service would cooperate with any authorities investigations and think about growing spending on know-how upgrades to keep away from related points sooner or later.
Earlier this month, the airline introduced the journey chaos was forecast to value the service a pre-tax affect between $725 million to $825 million and income loss between $400 million and $425 million.
As well as, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee introduced it could maintain hearings associated to Southwest’s delays and cancellations in the course of the winter vacation journey interval.
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