Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement regarding Southwest Airlines’ cancellation of thousands of flights:
“The problems at Southwest Airlines over the last several days go beyond weather. The Committee will be looking into the causes of these disruptions and its impact to consumers. Many airlines fail to adequately communicate with consumers during flight cancellations. Consumers deserve strong protections, including an updated consumer refund rule.”
In November, Chair Cantwell and Sens. Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal filed a comment on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed rule on airline ticket refunds, urging DOT to strengthen and expeditiously finalize the proposed rule to ensure that consumers are fairly compensated when an airline cancels or significantly delays their flight – including secondary costs incurred from hotels, meals and transportation in the event of a cancellation or significant delay due to a problem within the airline’s control.
[Video] Youtube Hear what Southwest CEO is saying about flight cancellations
A punishing winter storm that dumped multiple feet of snow across much of America led to widespread flight cancellations over the Christmas holiday, most of them on Southwest Airlines. Southwest warned that it would continue canceling flights until it could get its operations back on track. The company’s CEO said this has been the biggest disruption he’s seen in his career. The Biden administration is investigating.