The Department of Justice is going to be joining the Transportation Department’s probe into Southwest Airlines on the holiday period chaos that ensued which led to millions of travelers having delays and even being stranded in places.
The Justice Department (DOJ) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are going to be assisting the Transportation Department’s (DOT) investigation following the Transportation Department’s spokesperson recently telling the Hill that they had completed “on-site audits” of Southwest’s records of reimbursements and refunds. They have also added that they have had meetings with airline officials.
DOT spokesperson Kerry Arndt specifically noted in a statement to Politico that the DOJ and FAA would assist in determining whether “Southwest engaged in unrealistic scheduling of flights” adding that the DOT would remain focused on its investigations in order to help protest consumers while also holding the airline “accountable for any violations of the law.”
In the last 10 days of 2022, Southwest Airlines canceled close to 17,000 flights, during a time when many airlines were facing travel delays. In January the Department of Transportation vowed to assess whether “unrealistic scheduling” was responsible for the scale of the meltdown which cost the airline between $725 million and $825 million, including $425 million lost because of refunded flights according to their January report.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, was leading the investigation in December.