Southwest Airlines has been hard at work putting measures in place to prevent another disaster of this kind, as outlined by CEO Bob Jordan in a recent email he sent out to employees and members of its Rapid Rewards loyalty program.
According to the letter, Southwest Airlines has done its triage and put in immediate measures to keep things rolling, including supplemental staffing, enhancing crew communication, and upgrading and updating their crew recovery system to optimize schedules and make revisions quickly as needed. According to Jordan, virtually all the bags that were seen littering the floor of airports across the country have been returned, most refunds have been processed and they’re still working on “tens of thousands” of reimbursement requests each day, plus they added 25,000 Rapid Rewards points to the accounts of members who were most significantly impacted as a gesture of goodwill.
Jordan also outlined several steps the airline is taking to work on preventing such a thing happening again. They engaged a third-party global aviation-consulting firm, Oliver Wyman, to assess what happened and make recommendations, their Board of Directors appointed an Operations Review Committee, with Jordan stating that they are committed to keeping everyone updated on the progress of their efforts.
Of note is the fact the company budgeted more than $1 billion of its annual operating plan to focus on its outdated software and IT systems, the root cause of the flight fiasco.
In closing, he wrote: “We fell short of your expectations and the high standards we have of ourselves, and for that we are deeply sorry. It is our steadfast commitment to make the necessary changes to address the issues we faced and to regain your trust and confidence.”
This article previously ran in our sister publication, Recommend.
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