LAS VEGAS – The United States Department of Transportation announced Monday evening that it would investigate whether Southwest Airlines is following its customer service plan in the midst of major flight cancellations and delays.
Travelers around the country have been living in a nightmare as a winter storm swept over portions of the country.
According to FlightAware, a flight tracking website, as of 9 p.m. Monday, 8,291 flights were delayed, and 3,973 were canceled inside, into, or out of the United States.
However, Southwest Airlines was responsible for 2,908 of those cancellations. According to FlightAware, the airline was also to blame for 663 delays.
In response, the USDOT stated in a tweet that it will investigate how Southwest Airlines handled the incident, saying:
The USDOT is concerned about Southwest’s unacceptable number of cancellations and delays, as well as reports of slow customer service. The Department will investigate whether the cancellations were preventable and whether Southwest is following its customer service plan.
THE US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (@USDOT) As of Monday night, there were 291 delayed flights and 358 canceled planes at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, according to FlightAware.
Southwest was responsible for 43 delays and 291 cancellations on those flights.
On Monday, Southwest Airlines issued a statement stating that it is attempting to recover from operational issues and for “coming short.”
Southwest stated in a statement that they are rebalancing the airline and repositioning employees and their fleet to serve people traveling with them, with safety at the center of the “wide-scale” disruption.
“We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the major carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the United States. These operational challenges required daily modifications to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that has left our employees with the tools they need to get the airline back up and running,” the statement said. “This safety-first approach is intentional, continuous, and important to restore to normal reliability, one that reduces last-minute difficulties. As we approach the upcoming New Year holiday travel period, we anticipate additional modifications to an already lower level of flights. And we’re striving to contact out to customers whose travel plans will be altered by specific information and options.”
The message finished by stating that they will endeavor to make amends for anyone they have disappointed, especially employees.
“With no worry higher than ultimate Safety, the People of Southwest share a commitment to take care of each and every Customer. “We acknowledge our shortcomings and truly apologize,” the statement stated.
At this link, travelers can view Reid International’s flight arrivals and departures. Airport officials continue to advise passengers to come at least two hours before their flight’s departure time and to expect big crowds.
Credits: 8 News Now
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