United and American Airlines place price caps in certain cities for Southwest customers to fly home


New York
CNN

Many Southwest customers are desperate to get — anything — back home. But some travelers are horrified to find other airlines offering last-minute flights to their destinations that cost thousands of dollars.

United and American Airlines say they have a solution: The airlines will set price caps for flights to and from select cities, the companies told CNN.

Although it didn’t name Southwest specifically, American notes that the price caps are designed to help customers of the crashed plane get home.

An American Airlines spokeswoman told CNN that price ranges vary depending on the location of the canceled areas. Southwest did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

American Airlines notified customers of the price caps in a series of tweets directed at people who posted screenshots of thousand-dollar flights.

a traveler Published A screenshot showing flights from San Diego to Orlando costing more than $2,000 with American, Delta and United fares. The passenger was hoping to rebook a canceled Southwest flight.

“We’re doing our part to help people get where they need to be, and we’re capping fares for select cities,” American tweeted.

Another one He tweeted that American Airlines is asking for help with delayed flights and no rebooking options (adding to the #southwestdebacle hashtag).

“Please join us in the DMs with the reservation code and we’ll be happy to check the available options,” the American replied.

United Airlines also says it will set fares on some routes served by Southwest Airlines.

The cap runs through Saturday and applies to many U.S. and Latin American markets Southwest flies. United spokesman Josh Freed could not immediately specify a dollar amount for the cap.

“We continue to get people to their destinations safely and quickly during this busy holiday season, and our latest initiative includes charging in select cities to ensure our flights are available to as many customers as possible,” Freed told CNN.

The price cap may come as a welcome relief to stranded Southwest travelers across the country.

Southwest canceled 2,507 flights Wednesday, according to flight tracker website FlightAware. 2,694 flights were canceled on Tuesday and another 2,348 flights were already canceled on Thursday.

To make the travel nightmare worse, Southwest has a policy of not rebooking customers on competing airlines. Southwest Airlines does not have interline agreements with other carriers, which would allow its agents to rebook passengers on a different flight, reducing options for stranded passengers.

“Southwest is unique in the industry in that we have no codeshare partners,” said a company spokesperson. “It’s part of our business model.”

A Video report On Tuesday, Southwest CEO Bob Jordan told frustrated customers, “I’m truly sorry.” Jordan blamed mass flight cancellations due to cold temperatures across the country for complicating air routes. “[A]After a few days of trying to work our full schedule through the busy holiday weekend, we reached the decision to significantly reduce our flying.

Southwest is the nation’s largest carrier and the largest airline in 23 of the top 25 U.S. travel markets, the company said.

– CNN’s Kate Trafecante and Greg Wallace contributed to this report

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