Southwest Airlines is offering free rebooking, full refunds and to even cover travel expenses as the company tries to recover from its disastrous week that saw thousands of flight delays and lost luggage.
The services were announced by Chief Commercial Officer Ryan Green during a video message Wednesday night — the company’s second executive to issue an apology in as many days after the superstorm.
Southwest is the only airline that hasn’t recovered from the Arctic-like conditions that blanketed the nation beginning last weekend.
“You know by now all of the flexibility and planning that we put in place to deal with the storm just wasn’t enough,” Mr. Green said in the video posted on Twitter.
The Dallas-based airline is offering customers with flights originally scheduled through Jan. 2 to rebook their flight in the same class within the next 30 days at no additional charge.
Passengers can also get information on missing bags and submit full refund requests for their flights. People who took on additional travel expenses due to the delay, such as hotels, rental cars and food, can submit those receipts for reimbursement to Southwest as well.
Accessing these resources can be done at Southwest.com’s travel disruption page.
“We’re continuing to work to make this up to you,” Mr. Green said, promising more news to come.
Southwest canceled 2,500 flights Wednesday and over 2,300 more on Thursday, according to tracking website FlightAware.
The company accounted for nearly 60% of all flights canceled worldwide, which was an improvement from Monday and Tuesday of this week when Southwest saw roughly 5,600 flights canceled.
Southwest’s outdated crew-scheduling system and network design that cause widespread cancellations if one region experiences a travel hiccup are mainly to blame, according to the Associated Press.
The Department of Transportation said Tuesday that it is “concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays and reports of lack of prompt customer service. The department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”
Robert Jordan, Southwest’s CEO, acknowledged during his own video message Tuesday night that the airline has “some real work to do in making this right.”
• This story is based in part on wire service reports.