U.S. Southwest flight cancellation probe looks at scheduling practices By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Southwest Airlines passengers wait in line at the baggage services office after U.S. airlines, led by Southwest, canceled thousands of flights due to a massive winter storm which swept over much of the country before and during the Christmas h

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) said on Wednesday it is in the initial phase of its investigation into Southwest Airlines (NYSE:)’ massive December flight cancellations.

The department’s investigation was previously announced but USDOT disclosed Wednesday it is reviewing whether “Southwest executives engaged in unrealistic scheduling of flights which under federal law is considered an unfair and deceptive practice.”

Southwest canceled more than 16,000 flights in December citing a severe winter storm and the company’s outdated technology.