Southwest Airlines Sued Over Flights Canceled Last Winter

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southwest airlines canceled flights lawsuit

Southwest Airlines Sued Over Flights Canceled Last Winter

A Southwest passenger has sued the airline over its decision to cancel hundreds of flights amid problems de-icing planes at Midway Airport last winter.

Plaintiff Brian Hughes claims that he purchased a Southwest ticket to fly from Phoenix to Chicago on February 11th. Allegedly, when he was at the airport, preparing to board the flight, he was notified that the flight had been canceled because of weather problems.

More than 250 flights were canceled that day after Southwest ran short of glycol, the fluid used to de-ice aircraft, and a pump on one of the glycol tanks failed, Southwest said at the time. But Southwest canceled the flight and blamed the weather.

Allegedly, the de-icer shortage problem was not limited to one day — the Southwest class action lawsuit claims that the airline canceled more than 450 flights when it ran out of de-icer, causing an estimated 45,000 passengers to be left without a flight.

Hughes accused the airline of breach of contract and “negligence” for failing to keep enough de-icing fluid on hand to keep planes in service. He said in the suit that he and other customers whose flights were canceled faced extra costs and inconvenience.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status and damages. There’s no details yet on what compensation will be provided, but keep an eye out for more development soon.

Hughes is represented by Terrence Bueller of the Law Office of Terrence Buehler, by Kent A. Heitzinger of Kent A. Heitzinger & Associates, and by Thomas F. Burke of Thomas F. Burke PC. The Southwest De-Icer Shortage Cancelations Class Action Lawsuit is Brian Hughes v. Southwest Airlines Inc., Case No. 1:18-cv-05315, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


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