Department of Transportation Investigating if ‘Unrealistic Scheduling’ Contributed to Southwest Airlines Chaos

Travelers wade through the line for service at the Southwest Airlines check-in counter in Denver International Airport, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

President Joe Biden’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is investigating to see if “unrealistic scheduling” contributed to Southwest Airlines’ holiday travel chaos as the department attempts to build credibility after weeks of mishaps.

A DOT spokesperson provided an update on its investigation into the holiday travel chaos, which saw Southwest Airlines canceling thousands of flights, leaving even more stranded and unable to arrive at their final holiday destinations at the busiest time of year.

The department said it is in the beginning phase of what it described as a “rigorous and comprehensive investigation into Southwest Airlines’ holiday debacle that stranded millions.” Further, the DOT said it is considering “whether Southwest executives engaged in unrealistic scheduling of flights which under federal law is considered an unfair and deceptive practice.”


U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks during a daily press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House April 9, 2021, in Washington, DC (Alex Wong/Getty Images).


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