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Southwest Airlines reimbursed a couple for a $500 used car they bought to drive home after their flight was canceled

Canceled flight travelers line for booking in front of a Southwest Airlines sign at Denver International Airport in Denver, ColoradoSouthwest Airlines cancelled more than 16,000 flights in late December ba cause of severe weather and cascading network failures.

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  • A couple bought a used car to drive home after being stranded by Southwest flight cancellations.
  • The airline reimbursed the couple $500 for the car. 
  • Southwest canceled more than 16,000 flights in late December, and is still processing refunds. 

Over a month after its infamous operational meltdown, Southwest Airlines is being “really generous” as it processes requests for refunds and reimbursements, according to CEO Bob Jordan. 

“We’re being really generous, as you would expect,” Jordan told Axios. “We had an instance where a couple bought a $500 used car to drive home. We covered it and bought them a car, so to speak.”

That $500 is one part of the millions of dollars of reimbursements the airline is paying out after severe weather and cascading network failures led to the cancellation of more than 16,000 flights in December, stranding thousands of passengers.

The operational disruptions cost the airline around $800 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. 

Other refunds included giving out as much as 50 billion airline miles to affected customers. 

While some customers are benefitting from Southwest’s “generosity”, others have told Insider they’re still waiting for refunds a month after Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg wrote a stern letter to Jordan telling Southwest Airlines to “provide prompt refunds” for all its canceled flights, in 7 to 20 business days.

Read the original article on Business Insider