DENVER (KDVR) — On Tuesday, hundreds more flights were canceled at Denver International Airport by Southwest Airlines.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said customers must be reimbursed for cancellations and for some other expenses. Treasury Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with Southwest Airlines’ CEO.
As that news was breaking, Southwest was saying it was reducing flights for “several days.”
At DIA on Tuesday afternoon, there was no shortage of angry passengers. Many were searching a sea of some 10,000 pieces of unclaimed luggage.
“I just need to get his medicines. That’s all I’m concerned about,” Janiel Gorman said of her husband.
Passengers had been standing in the baggage claim area for hours, trying to find their luggage.
“We need direction. We are lost. When people are so frustrated, everyone starts to get fizzled out and irritable,” Jada Glenn of Aurora said.
Many of the passengers told FOX31 their flights were canceled, like Shawn Hurley of Littleton, who’s calling for the firing of Southwest executives.
“They need to start at the top and get rid of some people, I believe,” Hurley said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said it will investigate and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said his office will report customers’ concerns to the federal government.
“If an airline cancels a flight, customers can’t be told, ‘You are on your own.’ They need to be given a place to stay. If it’s more than three hours, they are entitled to meal credits. If they can’t get rebooked, they need to get their money back or usable credit,” Weiser said.
Southwest could face massive fines, Weiser said, if travelers are treated unfairly during what has been described as a major meltdown.
“The Department will take action to hold Southwest accountable if it fails to fulfill its obligations and we will stay engaged with Southwest Airlines to make sure the airline does not allow a situation like this to happen again,” a Department of Transportation spokesman said.
Weiser said customers should keep all their documents to file a claim for losses.