KFOR.com Oklahoma City
by: Nexstar Media Wire
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 11: A screen displays Southwest Airlines flight information at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Southwest Airlines is working to catch up on a backlog after canceling hundreds of flights over the weekend, blaming air traffic control issues and weather. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
(NEXSTAR) – Southwest says it will be extending a “gesture of goodwill” to customers affected by the cancellation of thousands of flights last weekend.
“In these situations, we do our best to make things right, and we are working directly with Customers who have been impacted by recent disruptions offering our apology and a gesture of goodwill,” a spokesperson for the airline confirmed in an emailed statement.
Southwest declined to detail what these “gestures” would entail, specifically. But on Twitter, Southwest and its customers have indicated that the airline was sending vouchers — known as “LUV Vouchers” — for future travel with Southwest Airlines, in amounts of up to $250.
Not everyone appeared to be so happy with the promise of vouchers, however. Some Twitter users complained of not being able to get in contact Southwest to get their vouchers at all, while others complained that vouchers were not sufficient to compensate for the expenses they incurred while trying to find meals, hotels and alternate modes of transportation.
Other customers on Twitter have complained that they had yet to be refunded for their canceled itineraries. According to Southwest’s own customer service policy, customers are eligible for refunds if the airline cancels a flight — just as all major carriers are required to do, per the Department of Transportation (DOT). A representative for Southwest further confirmed that eligible customers must request a refund, otherwise they merely retain their travel funds to put toward a future trip.
Still, Southwest customers who request refunds may not see the money for weeks. Southwest’s Customer Service Commitment says refunds will be processed within seven business days of requests, and credit card companies may take an additional 10 days to post it to customers’ accounts.
On the other hand, airlines are not required to reimburse passengers for expenses incurred outside of the cost of the tickets, which means that costs for things like meals, lodging and ground transportation are not the responsibility of the carrier. Southwest, however, has confirmed to USA Today that it will decide on reimbursement in certain situations.
Southwest representatives on Twitter have also been telling affected guests that they can direct-message the company to discuss further complaints to “take a closer look” or “discuss” their concerns.
The Southwest representative who spoke with USA Today also claimed that all affected passengers would be getting vouchers automatically, via email, but noted that the emails might be delayed because of the “number of customers we are processing.”
Southwest began canceling thousands of flights last weekend, blaming weather disruptions and “other external constraints,” but denying that the delays were caused by workers who had staged “sickouts” to protest Southwest’s vaccination requirements.
Southwest began to resume more normal operations midweek.
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LINCOLN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A man from Moore, Okla., died in a vehicle crash on Turner Turnpike on Friday afternoon.
Norman Drake Jr., 75, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Turner Turnpike eastbound at mile marker 161, three miles east of Wellston, Okla., according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – CVS Pharmacy locations across the nation will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to adults age 18 and older.
Nearly 10,000 CVS Pharmacy locations across the nation will begin Saturday, Nov. 20 offering Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 booster doses to all adults who completed primary vaccination with any authorized COVID-19 vaccine, according to a CVS news release.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Senate passed a controversial congressional redistricting plan after a week of debate between Republicans and Democrats. Although the bill ultimately passed 36 to 10, with only one Republican voting against it, Democrats maintain that the map is not in the best interest of Oklahomans.
Many Democrats are critical of the map because they say it splits up minority populations, specifically the metro area’s growing Hispanic population, in a process known as cracking. Cracking is done to limit the voting power of one demographic by spreading them among multiple districts. Some lawmakers claim that that’s what the Republican-led redistricting effort is trying to do, specifically in the state’s 5th District.