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Passenger sues Southwest for failing to provide ‘prompt refunds’ amid December chaos

Credit was offered but there were no alternative flights available

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Thursday 05 January 2023 13:46 GMT
<p>Eric Capdeville has accused the carrier of breach of contract </p>

Eric Capdeville has accused the carrier of breach of contract

A Southwest Airlines passenger is suing the carrier for failing to provide “prompt refunds” after his flight to Portland, Oregon was cancelled on 27 December.

Passenger Eric Capdeville filed the proposed class action lawsuit against Southwest Airlines on 30 December, Mail Online reports.

Mr Capdeville says he had bought two tickets for himself and his daughter just ahead of the New Year; the trip was to also include a Southwest transit flight to Phoenix, Arizon.

On the day they were due to fly, the pair found out their flight was cancelled amid Southwest’s major spell of disruption in December.

Mr Capdeville alleges that Southwest offered airline credit to him which he was unable to use as there were no alternative flights available.

The lawsuite outlines, “Despite the fact that Plaintiff could not take the flight he booked, and Defendant could not offer any comparable accommodations on another flight, Plaintiff was not given a refund, but was only offered a credit for use on a future flight.”

Mr Capdeville says that, because of this, passengers “cannot use their airline tickets through no fault of their own and they are not getting the benefit of their bargain with defendant.”

Mr Capdeville has sued Southwest for breach of contract.

Court documents seen by Mail Online state Southwest is contractually obliged to process refunds when flights are cancelled by the airline, “as well as full compensation for incurred costs and resultant cancellations.”

Mr Capedeville’s lawsuit claims: “Southwest’s failure to provide prompt refunds for cancelled flights violates not only its own Contract of Carriage, but also federal law.”

Thousands of flights were cancelled by Southwest over the Christmas period and President Joe Biden tweeted on 27 December: “Our Administration is working to ensure airlines are held accountable.”

Mr Capdeville is pursuing compensation for all passengers affected by the cancellations who didn’t receive a refund.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told The Independent: “There are several high priority efforts underway to do right by our customers, including processing refunds from cancelled flights, and reimbursing customers for expenses incurred as a result of the irregular operations.

“We have a long and proud 51-year history of delivering on our customers’ expectations, and we are committed to the all-important imperative of taking care of them during operational disruptions.

“In fact, on December 28, we launched a website to assist customers with requesting refunds and reimbursements, and those requests are being processed and issued.”

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