A passenger has filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines, alleging that the company failed to issue refunds to individuals who were left stranded due to the cancellation of over 15,000 flights in December 2021.
The proposed class action, filed in a New Orleans federal court, claims that Southwest breached its contract with the plaintiff, Eric Capdeville, and other affected passengers following a winter storm that disrupted the airline's operations.
Eric Capdeville, the plaintiff in the lawsuit against Southwest Airlines, had claimed that the company offered only credit towards future travel instead of a refund for expenses incurred when their flight from New Orleans to Portland, Oregon, was canceled on December 27, 2021.
Capdeville and other affected passengers argue that they are entitled to a refund as they are unable to use their tickets through no fault of their own and are not receiving the benefits of their original agreement with Southwest. The complaint states that although Southwest has promised to reimburse passengers, it has failed to do so for Capdeville and potentially other individuals.
The plaintiff is seeking damages for passengers on Southwest flights canceled since Dec. 24 and who did not receive refunds or expense reimbursements.
The cancellation of thousands of Southwest flights in December 2021 has been attributed to staffing shortages and outdated flight scheduling software at the Dallas-based airline.
Southwest has announced that it will reimburse affected passengers for reasonable expenses like last-minute hotel, rental car, and dining costs, but it may take several weeks for these reimbursements to be processed. The airline returned to normal operations on December 30, several days after other carriers had recovered from the storm.