Airline passengers face excessive ticket costs amid Southwest flight cancellations

As this week’s flight cancellation wave led by Southwest Airways drags on, different main carriers have introduced they may institute value caps — notably in cities the place Southwest operates — to restrict the monetary burden on stranded flyers attempting to succeed in their locations.

Amongst them are American, United and Delta, all of which stated they’d restrict fares in all markets the place Southwest operates by means of Monday.

However regardless of the bulletins, airfare knowledge exhibits that costs to and from many affected locations stay sky excessive.

Google flight data exhibits costs for one-way journeys out of airports like Nashville Worldwide, Ronald Reagan Washington Worldwide and Chicago Halfway Worldwide — all Southwest hubs — surging over the subsequent few days.

As an illustration, a one-way ticket leaving Friday from Nashville, Tennessee, to Denver Worldwide Airport — two hubs closely affected by this week’s flight cancellations — began at greater than $600.

A one-way flight from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles Worldwide Airport leaving Friday began at greater than $1,000.

Vacationers wait in line earlier than passing by means of a safety checkpoint Wednesday at Denver Worldwide Airport. Michael Ciaglo / Getty Photographs

Many flyers have vented their frustration on social media.

Suzanne Durham, a music trade skilled based mostly in Nashville, had spent Christmas in Boston and was scheduled to return house Monday on Southwest. After her authentic flight was canceled, she was capable of rebook one other flight on Southwest leaving later within the week, however she had a sense that the flight could be canceled, too.

So she determined to e-book a further flight on American Airways for greater than $900, she stated.

“Once I was reserving that flight, I couldn’t imagine it was so costly,” Durham stated in a follow-up interview. She stated American didn’t specify which class the ticket was in, and it turned out to be enterprise class.

“It wasn’t even top quality,” Durham stated. “They’re completely value gouging, for my part.”

Durham, who vented her frustrations Monday on Twitter, stated an American Airways consultant responded by noting that “fares are as much as some locations.”

An American Airways consultant pointed NBC Information to a tweet buried in response to a consumer saying chosen cities would see value caps. The consultant declined to share additional particulars.

Different flyers shared comparable tales on Twitter of dealing with a lot increased fares.

In the meantime, Southwest’s chief business officer, Ryan Inexperienced, apologized for the journey chaos in a video Wednesday night time, telling passengers that they will submit full refund requests for canceled flights and file journey bills on the airline’s web site.

“My private apology is step one of constructing issues proper after many plans modified and experiences fell wanting your expectations of us,” Inexperienced stated. “We’re persevering with to work to make this as much as you.” 

A Transportation Division consultant didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. In an interview with Nexstar Media on Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg applauded airways for instituting the worth caps.

“No one ought to be benefiting from the scenario,” stated Buttigieg, who acknowledged that the division might have restricted authorized authority to considerably tackle the scenario.

“We’re actually anticipating airways to transcend the authorized minimal and to do the proper factor right here,” he stated. “It should not take an enforcement motion from our division with a purpose to get folks taken care of or get them their a reimbursement.”

Tim Stelloh contributed.

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