Jan 5, 2023 - News

How to get money back from Southwest

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Southwest Airlines is apologizing again for canceling over 15,000 flights during the holiday season and offering a $300 voucher in an effort to win back customers' trust, per Axios' Shawna Chen.

Why it matters: The Dallas-based airline's mass cancellations stranded tens of thousands of passengers, putting a large dent in its reputation for customer service.

  • The company has since vowed to review every aspect of its operations, including its outdated scheduling technology, to prevent similar events in the future.

What they're saying: "On behalf of Southwest, I want to let you know we're so sorry," CEO Bob Jordan said in an email to impacted customers.

Details: The company is handling refunds, reimbursements and lost bags "with great urgency," and offered each impacted customer 25,000 reward points — valued around $300 — toward Southwest's frequent flyer program "as a gesture of goodwill."

  • Customers whose flights were canceled or significantly delayed between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2 can submit receipts for hotel, other flight, rental car and food costs to be reimbursed by the airline. The company says it will "honor reasonable requests."
  • Southwest is also still working to get luggage back to passengers. Baggage information can be submitted online.

Of note: The White House is monitoring Southwest's response to the cancellations and says it will hold the airline "accountable to their commitments to make their customers whole," per Bloomberg.

What's next: Airline leadership hasn't commented on how much the scheduling debacle could cost the company, but some experts estimate it will cost Southwest as much as $700 million, per CNBC.


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