Southwest apologizes and offers customers loyalty points


DALLAS — Southwest Airlines is trying to make travelers who got caught up in its wave of canceled flights over the holidays feel a little better about the airline by giving them 25,000 frequent flyer points.

The airline says the points are worth more than $300 in flights.

Southwest included the offer in a letter — another apology for the meltdown — from CEO Bob Jordan.

“I know no excuse can undo your experience,” Jordan wrote. He added that the airline was acting “with great urgency” to process refunds, return lost baggage and process claims for reimbursement of costs incurred by stranded travellers.

Dallas-based Southwest canceled more than 15,000 flights between Dec. 22 and Dec. 30, according to tracking service FlightAware. The flight disruptions began with a winter storm that swept across the country. While other airlines recovered after a few days, Southwest continued to struggle with crews and planes stranded far from where they were supposed to be.

Southwest said people booked on flights from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 that were canceled or “significantly” delayed received the 25,000 points. It did not reveal the number of passengers booked on those flights.

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