Southwest Airlines Sued For Not Providing Refunds: Reuters, NEW YORK, January 3 – Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) has been sued by a passenger who claims the airline did not give refunds to passengers who were left stranded after the carrier canceled more than 15,000 flights late last month due to technical issues.
Eric Capdeville accused Southwest of breach of contract after a severe winter storm that swept through the United States just before Christmas disrupted the carrier’s schedule in a proposed class action lawsuit filed on December 30 in federal court in New Orleans.
Although Southwest has committed to pay passengers for charges, Capdeville claimed that the airline only gave him and his daughter credit after canceling their flight from New Orleans to Portland, Oregon, on December 27 and leaving them with no other options for travel.
According to the complaint, affected passengers “cannot utilize their airline tickets due to no fault of their own and they are not receiving the benefit of their agreement with the defendant.”
For passengers on Southwest flights canceled since December 24 who did not get refunds or expense reimbursements, Capdeville, a Marrero, Louisiana resident, is suing.
Southwest claimed it had “many high priority actions underway to do right by our customers, including processing refunds from canceled flights and reimbursing customers for expenses incurred as a result of the irregular operations” in a statement on Tuesday, declining to comment on the case.
Capdeville’s attorney did not immediately answer requests for additional comments. Staffing shortages and antiquated flight scheduling software have been held responsible for the collapse of Dallas-based Southwest.
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It may take several weeks, but Southwest has promised to refund impacted travelers for acceptable fees, including last-minute hotel, rental car, and food costs.
On December 30, a few days after other airlines had recovered from the storm, the company mainly resumed regular operations.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wrote a letter on December 29 to Southwest CEO Bob Jordan, calling the interruptions “unacceptable” and stating that the law demands refunds when airlines cancel flights unless passengers agree to rebook. Capdeville v. Southwest Airlines Co., Eastern District of Louisiana U.S. District Court, Case No. 22-05590.
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