Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reminds Southwest Airlines CEO that thousands of stranded travelers are entitled to meal and hotel vouchers

Pete Buttigieg

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.Winn McNamee/Getty Images

  • The US Department of Transportation is implicated in the Southwest Airlines delay.

  • seconds. Pete Buttigieg met with Southwest Airlines CEO and union leaders on Tuesday.

  • DOT reminded passengers that the airline is committed to providing stranded travelers with meal tickets and hotels.

Meeting with Secretary of State Pete Buttigieg Southwest Airlines CEO Bob JordanButtigieg told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.

Buttigieg told CNN that the Department of Transportation will hold Southwest Airlines accountable, but said last summer Southwest Airlines promised in writing that it would “take care of its customers” in the event of delays or cancellations. Told.

“Now that we have the promises we made to us this summer, we’re going to use that as a tool to hold them accountable.” Buttigieg told CNN. “And I’ve made it clear to Southwest management that now…the CEOs not only meet but exceed the customer service standards and commitments they’ve made to us in the past. I promised to take a position to force you.”

Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights following the holiday weekend as a result of a historic winter storm that took hold nationwide. canceled.

Southwest told Insider in a statement Monday that part of the reason for the cancellation was their scheduling toolsemployees of some airlines It complains that it is outdated.

“We encourage our customers to submit receipts to qualify for refunds. We have assisted hotels in some situations,” the airline told Insider.

on Twitter Linked DOT To Southwest Airlines Customer Service Planwhich state:

  • The airline will rebook you on the next available Southwest flight to your destination at no additional charge. Southwest is also offering ticket refunds.

  • In circumstances under the airline’s control, staff will provide meal vouchers upon request or provide a “reasonable” refund for meals purchased.

  • In circumstances under the control of the airline, the staff will arrange accommodation upon request or reasonably refund the accommodation fee. Staff can also provide transportation vouchers or refunds.

  • For situations outside the airline’s control, staff can arrange discounts on accommodation near the airport.

On Monday, USDOT will Amount of cancellations from Southwest It said it was “unacceptable” and that it would investigate the cause of the delay.

“USDOT is concerned by Southwest Airlines’ reports of unacceptable cancellation rates and delays and lack of prompt customer service,” the statement said. “The agency will investigate whether the cancellation was controllable and whether Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”

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