Southwest Airlines Under Federal Investigation After Abruptly Cancelling 60% Of Flights

Southwest Airlines Under Federal Investigation After Abruptly Cancelling 60% Of Flights

The flight situation at Southwest Airlines seems to have gone completely haywire.

According to reports, the airplane company is now under federal investigation for alleged compliance issues. Southwest reportedly canceled roughly 60% of their flights amid the recent winter blizzard that has caused the deaths of dozens of people across the country.

Via Twitter, the governing airline authority – The Department of Transportation, stated they will be conducting an investigation into Southwest. They wrote:

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

Reportedly, the government entity will look to investigate the true reason behind such a massive cancellation. While it’s true the winter storm – that killed 25 citizens in Buffalo, NY alone – has halted many planes from taking off, it’s reported that Southwest had the most cancellations. One report notes that of the 4,000 flights canceled in the past few days, 2,600 of them were from Southwest. The flight company reportedly claimed that due to the weather, many pilots and crew members were displaced and unable to continue their scheduled routes.

Casey Murray, president of Southwest, reportedly stated in a recent address:

“There is a lot of frustration because this is so preventable…The airline cannot connect crews to airplanes. The airline didn’t even know where pilots were at.” 

However, it’s also been reported that a similar logistics error caused a widespread cancellation back in October of last year. A Twitter user who is allegedly friends with a Southwest pilot shared the unidentified person’s take on the situation. The pilot also alluded to the airlines facing a system issue, writing:

“I don’t know what to say. Southwest Airlines has imploded. Their antiquated software system has completely fried. Planes are parked. Crews are stranded in the airports with the passengers…Phone lines are overwhelmed…I personally spent over two hours trying to get ahold of anyone in the company last night after midnight,”

The pilot went on to explain that most of the company’s flights throughout the rest of the year will likely not happen, stating:

“They have effectively shut down for the year, running 1/3 of flights so that they can let the computer find and locate crews and aircraft…Embarrassing is an understatement…In 24 years I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Southwest CEO Bob Jordan seemingly confirmed a lot of the pilot’s story. Reportedly, Jordan told news outlets that the airline would “operate just over a third of its usual schedule to allow crews to get back to where they needed to be.” He stated:

“We had a tough day today. In all likelihood we’ll have another tough day tomorrow as we work our way out of this…This is the largest scale event that I’ve ever seen.”

[VIA 1,2]

Do you think Southwest will face compliance issues? Let us know in the comments! 

Authored by: Kay Johnson