Southwest Airlines is gifting passengers affected by its series of mass cancellations a total of 25,000 frequent flier miles.
Southwest airlines were one of the airlines that had mass flight cancellations during the bomb cyclone that devastated America during the holidays. To make up for numerous travel plans being canceled, they are now gifting their disgruntled passengers frequent flyer points to apologize for any inconvenience caused.
But not just any amount of frequent flyer points, 25,000 frequent flyer points to be exact. These points will work out to over $300 to put towards any flight of their choice.
Over the holiday period, Southwest airlines canceled over half of their scheduelled journeys which worked out to over 15,000 flights in a very short period. While they claimed that the high number of canceled flights was due to the extreme weather, there was speculation that it something else was at play.
Many airlines had resumed flying days before Southwest managed to, and people speculated that they were encountering more issues than they claimed to have. It is widely known that Southwest Airlines have yet to recover since the pandemic, with numerous staff shortages and technical issues.
A major problem for Southwest Airlines is its out-dated scheduling system. It is not just their customer scheduling system but their internal one as well. While they did release a statement apologizing for so many issues, they need to invest in better equipment to compete with other more technologically advanced airlines.
Their failure over the holiday period was so big that it caught the attention of Congress, which launched an investigation into why so many of their flights were canceled while other airlines seemed to be able to complete their scheduled flights.
While all this negative press is something Southwest Airlines probably does not want or need, it is their customers who had their precious holiday travel plans canceled at the last minute. Being told that you cannot visit your loved ones a day or two before you are scheduled to see them is very distressing, or having to book last-minute arrangements because Southwest has let you down is incredibly stressful.
Southwest has since realized the gravity of its mistake and issued another public apology directly from its CEO. He stated while no amount of apologies can undo canceling travel and holiday plans, they are working tirelessly to refund customers, handle reimbursement costs and return luggage to their unhappy customers.
Southwest has not stated how many passengers were affected by these delays. But they have said anyone who had a flight canceled or delayed between December 24 and January 2 will receive their apology 25,000 frequent flyer points to compensate their customers for a disastrous holiday period.
It has taken many business sectors a long time to recover from the pandemic’s effects, but the travel sector is taking the longest to return to operational success that they had hit before COVID-19 hit. Airlines and airports are still plagued with issues two years on, as Southwest has expertly demonstrated. Hopefully, 2023 will be the year travel returns to normal; at least many Southwest passengers have discounted flights for their summer holidays.