Pritzker Demands Accountability for Southwest Airlines Amid Ongoing Holiday Travel ‘Debacle’ – NBC Chicago

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has been in touch with federal officials regarding Southwest Airlines’ thousands of flight cancellations in recent days, blaming the airlines for a cascade of problems that are stranded travelers in the country. said that he demanded that the

As a result of winter weather throughout the Midwest and East Coast around the Christmas holidays, Southwest Airlines found itself unable to get crew to and from destinations to allow normal operations to continue. I was.

This has forced the cancellation of thousands of flights, stranded passengers and caused massive operational headaches for airlines.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation have pledged to “hold Southwest Airlines accountable” if it fails to keep its promises to consumers.

“I’m keeping a close eye on the ongoing issues facing consumers regarding the canceled Southwest Airlines flights,” Pritzker said. I voiced the frustration of the thousands of Illinoisans who had to stop working because they missed work or couldn’t get home.”

The airline is expected to operate on a shortened schedule in the coming days as it works to deploy crews and planes to resume normal operations.

The decision has resulted in thousands of flights being canceled, limiting travelers’ options to book flights with other airlines or ordering rental cars, facing supply and cost issues in both scenarios. increase.

Pritzker called on Southwest Airlines to step up its efforts to help those stranded and affected by flight cancellations.

“Southwest Airlines should take immediate action to help all those who are stranded and waiting hours for flights,” he said. “All travelers must be compensated for the immeasurable loss of time this holiday season, in addition to compensation for rescheduled flights, hotels and alternative transportation.”

Buttigieg’s office said that Buttigieg spoke to the company’s CEO about the situation and that the delays and cancellations were “a result of the decisions and actions of Southwest.”

The secretary also spoke to union leaders representing the airline’s flight attendants and pilots. They too were affected by flight cancellations.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation said: “He told the CEO he expects Southwest Airlines to do the right thing in this situation with its pilots and flight attendants and all employees.

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