Southwest Airlines Company faces a proposed class action over its alleged failure to provide prompt refunds for thousands of flight cancellations during the 2022-2023 winter holidays.
The 11-page lawsuit alleges Southwest, the nation’s largest domestic air carrier, has violated its own contract terms and federal aviation regulations by failing to provide consumers reimbursement or comparable accommodations after it began canceling flights nationwide on December 23 of last year due to a purported “weather-driven issue.”
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However, the Department of Transportation stated the cancellations were a result of the company’s “decision and actions,” according to the suit, and Southwest CEO Bob Jordan confirmed the airline needed to upgrade its legacy systems, the case says.
According to the complaint, Southwest’s Contract of Carriage mandates that “in the event a flight is delayed, canceled, or diverted” by the airline, it will, upon request, either rebook customers on the next available Southwest flight or refund the unused portion of the customer’s ticket.
Additionally, Southwest’s Customer Service Commitment states that refunds must be issued within seven business days after a consumer makes a refund request for tickets purchased with a credit card and 20 days after a refund request for tickets purchased with cash, the filing relays.
The case explains that in response to the “internally created crisis,” Southwest instructed customers to submit a receipt for flight cancellations from December 24, 2022 through January 2, 2023 to be considered for reimbursement. Nevertheless, Southwest has failed to provide refunds for canceled tickets purchased with credit cards within seven days, the complaint argues.
The plaintiff, a Louisiana passenger, claims the airline did not provide him with any comparable accommodations on another flight, nor did it reimburse him for the unused fare after canceling his two tickets for a December 27 flight from New Orleans to Portland, Oregon. Instead, Southwest only offered the man credit for use on a future flight, the lawsuit contends.
The lawsuit looks to cover anyone in the United States who purchased tickets for travel on a Southwest Airlines flight scheduled to operate from December 24, 2022 through the date of a class certification order, whose flight(s) were canceled by Southwest, and who was not provided a refund and reimbursed for incurred expenses as a result of the cancellation.
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Camp Lejeune residents now have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.