NCL urges Senate committee to hold airlines accountable for operational meltdowns

February 9, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing focused on Southwest Airlines’ operational meltdown in December 2022. The committee should use this opportunity to not only hold Southwest accountable but to also address the underlying causes of and remedies for chronic cancellations and delays that affect millions of passengers annually. 

The following statement is attributable to NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud John Breyault: 

“Instead of ensuring that thousands of travelers and employees weren’t stranded for the holidays, Southwest spent $5.6 billion on stock buybacks. But Southwest is not an outlier. Putting short-term profits ahead of long-term investments that prioritize the needs of passengers has been a hallmark of the industry for decades. This is one symptom of a broken marketplace where four carriers control over 80 percent of domestic flights. America’s airline passengers, whose tax dollars bailed out the airline industry to the tune of more than $50 billion, deserve better. The Senate Commerce Committee must thoroughly investigate what happened at Southwest and reform our air travel industry to ensure such crises never happen again.” 


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit