Southwest Airlines Fined $140M For 2022 Holiday Meltdown

Southwest Airlines Fined $140M For 2022 Holiday Meltdown

Southwest Airlines was the launching stock of the 2022 holidays due to its complete and utter system meltdown that left 2 million passengers stranded.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has now taken enforcement action against Southwest Airlines, and the headline number, $140M, is significant, but the devil is in the details.

You can access Southwest Airlines here.

The “enforcement” action is $140M, but only $35M of that goes to the U.S. Treasure, $72M is used for future passenger payments, and Southwest gets a $33M credit issuing 25,000 Rapid Rewards points for every passenger affected by its 2022 meltdown.

Collect those vouchers:

As part of this consent order Southwest has agreed to put in place a new industry-leading policy under which it will provide, upon request, a voucher of $75 or more whenever a consumer’s flight is cancelled or significantly delayed for a reason within Southwest’s control, which results in the consumer arriving at his or her final destination three or more hours later than originally scheduled.

The Entire Consent Order:

Download (PDF, 272KB)


At least the dollar amount is getting somewhat in the correct range, but they should have added a zero to the penalty part going to the U.S. Treasury.

Unfortunately, these larger businesses won’t do the right thing and fix their antiquated systems until there is a financial penalty for inaction.


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