Over the holidays, thousands of passengers across the United States became stranded in airports during a severe air travel catastrophe that saw flight delays, cancellations, and shortages from many airline companies.
Southwest Airlines – the airline responsible for the majority of these cancellations – promised abandoned customers that the company would cover the costs for hotels, meals, rental cars, and other airline tickets purchased due to the issues. Spokespeople for the company also claimed that customers were entitled to refunds if they didn’t rebook their flights.
However, more than a week into the new year, many passengers are still left waiting for refunds, reimbursements, and compensation that may never appear.
At the Consumer & Employment Law Group, we help victims of shady company tricks fight to hold these big names accountable. If you have a holiday travel horror story with an airline, contact us today.
Southwest and other airlines left holiday customers stranded
Air travel problems began with the winter storms that swept across the nation late December. CNBC reported more than 12,000 flights were canceled during these storms, leaving passengers stranded in airports across the U.S.
But for Southwest, the storms were only the beginning.
Southwest blamed their more than 16,700 total canceled flights during the holiday season on delays due to the winter storms, aggressive flight scheduling, and outdated infrastructure.
The Department of Transportation, however, announced that airline cancelations that occurred between December 24 and January 2 were decidedly not weather-related and that airlines should provide vouchers to victims of airline mishaps during that time.
Even after the worst of the storms, Southwest continued canceling up to 3,000 flights per day. NPR reported that the disruptions could cost the company as much as $825 million.
In various statements over the holidays – including a video apology from the Southwest CEO, Bob Jordan – spokespeople for the company promised that customers that the airline would “take care of” its customers.
What should Southwest provide for its customers?
During the crisis, Southwest representatives urged customers to “keep their receipts” so that the company could provide reimbursement for meals, hotels, rebooked travel, and transportation, as well as refunds for customers who chose not to rebook their flights.
Unfortunately, many customers have found these reimbursement promises to be less than fruitful.
What’s particularly troubling is that this isn’t the first time Southwest has experienced major operational issues – and evidence suggests that the airline knew that problems over the holiday season were possible.
The Department of Transportation announced that it planned to pursue fines against the airline if there is evidence that the company fails to meet its legal obligations, but many customers have decided to take matters into their own hands.
A recent lawsuit accused Southwest of a “breach of contract” regarding these air travel issues, even alleging that the company only promised “reimbursement consideration” to its customers who had to cancel their flights.
Another element that many customers have mentioned is the pain and anguish they had to endure while sleeping on airport floors and missing the holiday season with their loved ones or other important events.
Contact The Consumer & Employment Law Group if you experienced these holiday flight cancelation problems
If your flight was canceled over the holidays and left you stranded, get in touch with our team at the Consumer & Employment Law Group today. We will listen to your story and work with you to hold these airlines accountable and fight for customers to receive the refunds and reimbursements they deserve.