Southwest CCO Ryan Green issues apology: ‘Fell short of your expectations’

A traveler wades through the field of unclaimed bags at the Southwest Airlines luggage carousels at Denver International Airport, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Southwest’s chief commercial officer issued an apology to customers on Wednesday as the airline continues to cancel thousands of flights amid a multiday meltdown of its operations.

“My personal apology on behalf of myself and everyone at Southwest Airlines for all of this,” Southwest CCO Ryan Green said in a video statement, adding, “My personal apology is the first step of making things right after many plans changed and experiences fell short of your expectations of us.” 

The airline has so far canceled more than 2,300 flights on Thursday alone, compounding the thousands of cancellations earlier this week that have stranded travelers amid the holidays.

Green pledged in Wednesday’s statement to “do everything we can and to work day and night to repair our relationship with you,” noting that Southwest customers can make changes to their flights, submit information about missing baggage, request full refunds for cancellations and submit travel expenses due to the disruptions online.

“We’re continuing to work to make this up to you and you’ll hear more about that soon. But for now, we’re focused on restoring the reliability and level of customer experience we expect of ourselves and that you expect from us,” he added.

While other airlines have managed to bounce back from last week’s massive winter storm, Southwest has struggled to reposition its planes and crews. The Southwest pilots union blamed the issue largely on Southwest’s crew scheduling software, calling the meltdown “absolutely preventable.”

“The impact of Southwest’s operational collapse being felt by passengers and crews over this holiday was not a surprise to anyone but the leadership of Southwest Airlines,” the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said in a statement.

Tags flight cancellations Ryan Green southwest airlines Southwest Airlines Pilots Association winter storm

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