NewsSouthwest Airlines Fined $140M By DOT For 2022 Fiasco

Southwest Airlines Fined $140M By DOT For 2022 Fiasco

During the almost yearlong investigation, the Transportation Department identified numerous violations of consumer protection laws by Southwest Airlines, including inadequate customer service through the call center, delayed flight status notifications, and failure to issue refunds promptly. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the significance of the penalty, stating, “Today’s action sets a new precedent and sends a clear message: if airlines fail their passengers, we will use the full extent of our authority to hold them accountable.”

Southwest responded with a commitment to delivering the highest standard of customer service and expressed satisfaction with the settlement, which includes a new policy to compensate customers during significant delays and cancellations.

“We have spent the past year acutely focused on efforts to enhance the Customer Experience with significant investments and initiatives that accelerate operational resiliency, enhance cross-team collaboration, and bolster overall preparedness for winter operations,” Bob Jordan, Southwest president and CEO, said in a statement. “Our commitment to Customers has been central to our success across our 52-year history and has helped us become one of the world’s most admired and trusted airlines.” 

Southwest has since implemented measures to enhance the customer experience, including digital bag tracking, flight credits that don’t expire, refund options for canceled flights, increased rebooking choices, and improved weather notifications.

The Transportation Department also disclosed that it was investigating whether Southwest engaged in unrealistic flight scheduling, but as part of the settlement, it closed that investigation without a finding, emphasizing its goal to swiftly provide relief for the public.

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Source: Black Enterprise


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