Southwest Airlines says it’s doing 33% of scheduled flights in wake of federal probe

Dallas Love Field
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at Dallas Love Field on Dec. 30, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

(The Center Square) – In the wake of a federal investigation into how the airline handled operations during the snowstorm, Southwest Airlines announced it would do just 33% of its scheduled flights for the rest of the holiday week.

“We have made the decision to continue operating a reduced schedule by flying roughly one third of our schedule for the next several days,” Southwest Airlines stated in a news release on its website. The airline said it is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S.

Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 70% of its flights on Monday and more than 60% on Tuesday.

The United States Department of Transportation stated Dec. 26 on Twitter it would investigate the airlines’ practices during the winter storm.

“USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service,” the agency posted on Twitter. “The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”

Southwest Airlines responded to the criticism with a statement on its website.

“With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our Customers and Employees in a significant way that is unacceptable,” the airline wrote. “And our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning.”

— Tom Gantert

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