CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A letter from Southwest Airlines President and CEO Bob Jordan was sent Monday to Rapid Rewards Members providing an update on operations after the disruption to the holiday travel.
Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights during the holiday travel rush that caused chaos, and extra expenses for many travelers. Southwest attributed the historic holiday meltdown to severe weather forcing operational changes of an unprecedented volume.
As of late last week, Southwest states that nearly all lost baggage was returned, refunds were processed, and are continuing to handle tens of thousands of requests a day of reimbursement costs incurred. People booked on flights from December 24 through January 2nd that were canceled or “significantly” delayed received 25,000 Rapid Rewards points.
To prevent travel disruption, Southwest has implemented the following efforts according to the letter to customers:
• Establishing supplemental operational staffing that can quickly mobilize to support Crew recovery efforts
• Enhancing our Crew engagement technology to efficiently communicate with large numbers of Crew Members during frequent schedule changes
• Updating and upgrading our Crew recovery system to not only solve current and future schedules, but also provide the ability to optimize established schedules as we revise them during irregular operations
The airline will continue to review the causes of the travel disruption including an assessment of the event by a third-party global aviation consulting firm, a budgeted amount of more than $1 billion on investments, upgrades, and maintenance of their IT systems.
President and CEO Bob Jordan wrote, “We fell short of your expectations and the high standards we have of ourselves, and for that we are deeply sorry. It is our steadfast commitment to make the necessary changes to address the issues we faced and to regain your trust and confidence. We will continue down our path of providing you the exceptional service you expect and deserve from us. It’s a passionate and personal pursuit for our entire Southwest Family, and we look forward to welcoming you onboard one of our flights very soon with the Heart and Hospitality we’ve been famous for delivering for 51-plus years.”
If you were affected by a flight cancellation or delay from December 24 through January 2nd visit the airline’s website and fill out a form. You’ll need your reservation confirmation numbers, but you’ll only have to fill out the form once for all the travelers on your reservation.
Southwest offers nonstop flights from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut to Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Nashville, Orlando, and Tampa.