Many Southwest customers are desperate to find a way home. Some passengers were shocked to discover that other airlines offered last-minute flights to their destinations at a cost of thousands of dollars.
United Airlines and American Airlines have found a solution. The companies announced that they will place price caps on certain cities.
American implied that the price caps were meant to help customers of the airline, even though it didn’t mention Southwest.
American Airlines spokeswoman said that the price caps differ depending on where they are located in areas affected by cancellations.
American Airlines sent out tweets to customers regarding the price caps. They were directed at people who had posted screenshots of flights worth thousands of dollars.
One user posted a screenshot of flights from San Diego to Orlando that included American, Delta, and United fares. It cost more than $2,000 One passenger wanted to book a Southwest flight that had been canceled.
American tweeted, “We’re doing what we can to get people to where they need to go and we’re putting an end to fares in select cities.”
Another tweet was sent to American Airlines by a passenger asking for assistance with delayed flights and no rebooking options. (Additional #southwestdebacle hashtag).
American responded, “Kindly join me in DMs and provide the booking code. We’ll be happy to check on options.”
United Airlines says that it will cap fares on certain Southwest Airlines routes.
The Saturday cap is in effect until Saturday. It applies to many US and Latin American markets, where Southwest also flies. Josh Freed, United spokesperson, could not immediately give a dollar figure for the cap.
Freed stated that “We continue getting people to their destinations safely and quickly this busy holiday season, and our latest effort includes capping airfares in selected cities to ensure our flights are available for as many customers as possible.”
For Southwest flyers across the country, the price caps may be a welcome relief.
According to FlightAware, Southwest canceled 2507 flights on Wednesday. This is the largest number of airline cancellations. On Tuesday, 2,694 flights were canceled by Southwest. There are already 2,348 flights that have been canceled for Thursday.
Southwest does not allow customers to book on other airlines, making the travel nightmare even worse. Southwest Airlines has no interline agreements with any other airlines that would allow agents to rebook passengers on another airline. This reduces the options for passengers who are left behind.
A spokesperson for Southwest stated that the company is unique in its lack of codeshare partners. “That’s just part of our business model.”
Southwest CEO Bob Jordan made a video statement Tuesday to express his regrets to customers. He said, “I’m sorry.” Jordan also blamed record-breaking cold temperatures for the airline’s cancellations. This has led to flight paths being obstructed by the country’s record lows. “[A]fter several days of trying to run as much of our holiday weekend schedule as possible, we decided to drastically reduce our flying to catch up.”
According to the company, Southwest is the nation’s largest carrier and is in 23 of the top 25 US travel markets.