Southwest Airlines Slapped With $200,000 Fine

April 29th, 2010 - 8:26 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Southwest Airlines Apr 29 (THAINDIAN NEWS) After bumping more passengers than any other American airline last year, Southwest Airlines has been hit with a hefty two-hundred thousand dollar fine for violating federal airline rules and overselling flights. Customers were bumped from these oversold flights, and not reimbursed promptly nor told of their rights. The airline was hit by the fine on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, April 27 the Transportation Department stated that after reviewing customer complaints, and finding that there were many cases of Southwest Airlines failing to pay the passengers which they had bumped in a timely manner, nor did the airline give these passengers written notices telling them of their rights, they were fining the airline. After bumping 13,113 passengers last year, Southwest’s number were 80% higher than the next closest airline carrier. They did, however, carry more passengers last year than any other airline in the United States.

According to federal rules, the airline is supposed to ask for volunteers who will give up their seat for a compensation fee. After doing this, the airline can then begin to bump passengers with tickets. These passengers are usually reimbursed with up to $800 in cash, and a written statement which tells them of their rights. Although the airline can offer them travel vouchers, they are supposed to let them know that they are entitle to money instead if they wish.

The Transportation Department stated that they will waive 90,000 dollars of the fine if Southwest does not have the same conduct next year. Also, the airline will be allowed to use 20,000 dollars of the money to find new ways of notifying passengers of their rights, and their policy on oversold flights.

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