Bob Jordan, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, called on employees to get their acts together as multiple thousands of cancellations and delays ended up stranding a large number of post-holiday travelers with their bags in airports all over the country.
As explained in a report from the entertainment website TMZ, Jordan released a message to the employees of his airline as reports of stuck travelers quickly started to pile up. “We’ve got to get out of this. We’ve got to get to the point where we’re reliable and we get our Customers, our Crews, our aircraft, everything on track,” he stated.
As Southwest airlines have been operating on roughly one-third of its scheduled flights, the airline has issued promises to “honor reasonable requests for reimbursement for meals, hotel, and alternate transportation” for its travelers who are forced to alter their plans.
“We had a tough day today,” stated Jordan to the Wall Street Journal this past Monday night. “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.”
The airline has been battling to get back on the right foot in the wake of the massive winter storm that swept across the nation just prior to Christmas — however, the massive shakeup caused by the severe weather pattern tossed the scheduling system for Southwest into total chaos, and they have yet to get back on track.
So many flights have been officially canceled — totaling up to 12,000 since the 23 of December — that officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation released a statement of intent to start an investigation into the airline’s compliance with its currently posted customer service policy.
“USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service,” expressed the department on its official social media account. “The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”
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.
— TransportationGov (@USDOT) December 27, 2022
Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, stated, “I’m tracking closely & will have more to say about this tomorrow.”
Jay McVay, a representative for Southwest Airlines, stated that after the first wave of weather-induced cancellations, the primary issue was acquiring a source of pilots and flight staff at the correct locations for the rest of the flights on the schedule.
“With those [cancellations], you end up with flight crews and airplanes that are out [of] place and not in the cities that they need to be in to continue to run our operations — that is ultimately exactly how we ended up where we are,” he concluded. “It’s trying to get our flight crews back into cities where they need to be to operate our flight schedules and then reaccommodate everyone that we can.”