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Legal Case Filed Against Southwest Airlines For Failing To Provide Refunds Following A Flight Schedule Collapse

Legal Case Filed Against Southwest Airlines For Failing To Provide Refunds Following A Flight Schedule Collapse
A legal suit has been filed against the United States based airlines Southwest Airlines by a passenger who claims the airline was unable to provide refunds to a number of passengers who were marooned after the carrier cancelled more than 15,000 flights late last month due to an operational collapse.
In a proposed class action filed on December 30 in federal court in New Orleans , Eric Capdeville alleged that Southwest had breached a contract a little prior to Christmas when the carrier's flight schedule was disrupted.
Even though a pledge made by Southwest to reimburse passengers for expenses was made, Capdeville claims the airline only offered him and his daughter a credit after canceling their Dec. 27 flight from New Orleans to Portland, Oregon and being unable to find alternative transportation.
Affected passengers "are unable to use their airline tickets due to no fault of their own, and they are not reaping the benefits of their bargain with defendant," according to the complaint.
Capdeville, of Marrero, Louisiana, is suing for compensation on behalf of passengers on Southwest flights canceled since December 24 who did not receive refunds or expense reimbursements.
In a statement, Southwest said it had "several high priority efforts 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."
There were no comments on the issue made by Capdeville's attorney.
Southwest Airlines' meltdown has been blamed on staffing shortages and outdated flight scheduling software.
Southwest has stated that it will reimburse affected passengers for reasonable expenses such as last-minute hotel, rental car, and dining costs; however, this could take several weeks.
On Dec. 30, several days after other airlines had recovered from the storm, the airline resumed largely normal operations.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called the disruptions "unacceptable" in a letter to Southwest CEO Bob Jordan on December 29 and said the law requires refunds when carriers cancel flights unless passengers accept rebooking.
The case is Capdeville v. Southwest Airlines Co., No. 22-05590 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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