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“Don’t Risk Holiday Disruptions: Southwest Fined $140 Million

The United States’ Department of Transportation (DOT) has hit Southwest Airlines with a hefty fine of $140 million for flight disruptions during the holidays in 2022. The airline had previously attempted to address the issue by taking corrective action which included offering refunds and credits to passengers affected by the disruptions, but this was not enough. In a press release, the DOT claimed that a total of 3.5 million passengers had their plans affected by the disruption, citing that Southwest’s negligence was unacceptable. In addition to the fine, the DOT also ordered Southwest to create a “Enhancement Plan” in order to prevent such disruptions from occurring in the future. According to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, the plan must put passengers’ needs first and must focus on providing timely and accurate information regarding changes in flight plans. The fine is the largest ever given to a commercial airline by the DOT and will most likely have a long-term impact on the industry as a whole. Although Southwest was quick to apologize, their actions have been called into question and they will need to take steps to restore customers’ faith in their brand. So far, Southwest has refused to comment on the situation, but it is clear that they have learned their lesson and understand the importance of taking corrective action when situations like this arise. Hopefully, this hefty fine will be a good lesson and airlines will take necessary steps to ensure that their passengers are not left stranded during the holidays.