Southwest Airlines says holiday cancellations

Southwest Airlines could lose $825 million from the operational meltdown that canceled nearly 17,000 flights over the holiday season.

The Dallas-based airline estimated a pre-tax loss of $725 million to $825 million from the disruption between Dec. 21 and Dec. 31 in a Friday SEC report.

"A significant portion of this impact is from an estimated revenue loss in the range of $400 million to $425 million," the document

stated. Southwest predicted a 17% increase in fourth-quarter revenue over 2019 before the catastrophe.

The carrier expects operating expenses to rise due to estimated travel expense reimbursements, Rapid Rewards points to be redeemed, premium pay, and employee compensation.

The Christmas weekend snow storm disrupted numerous major airlines. However, most resumed operations shortly after the storm. 

Southwest was different. An overload of its old crew-scheduling technology kept personnel and planes from flying for a long time. Recovery took eight days for the carrier. 

The airline vowed to refund and reimburse affected passengers to win back customers. 

One passenger is suing the company for unrefunded payments. CEO Bob Jordan said the carrier had processed 75% of refund requests by Thursday. 

"We are making great progress by processing tens of thousands of refunds and reimbursements a day and will not let up until we have responded to every impacted Customer,

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