In a turn of event witnessed across the airline sector, Southwest Airlines Corporation, a key U.S. airline based in Dallas, has decided to pay USD 15 million in the form of settlement to passengers, who had filed a legal case against the firm on the grounds that it had restricted seating capacity to raise the airfares. The key officials of the firm declared that the firm had made the decision to pay the claimants in order to avoid legal disputes and waste of time over legal battles with the appellants. As per sources, twenty-three antitrust legal suits were filed against four airlines, namely, Delta, United, Southwest, and American in 2016. The petitions were filed before a federal judge in Washington against these four airlines claiming that since 2009, they had limited the new seats to increase airfares in spite of lower fuel prices.
Authentic sources have cited that Delta, United, and American Airlines will continue to defend themselves against the legal battle with the petitioners. It has been learnt that the accusations were provoked in the trade group meeting held at Miami in 2015 during which key officials of many airlines had given the assurance of adding new flights. They had also promised to increase the set numbers as a result of high demand for air travel supported by lower fuel charges. It has been claimed by the appellants that some of the reputed airlines had failed to keep the promise, which had led to court litigation against these airlines.
With the Southwest airlines announcing to pay USD 15 million to the plaintiffs, it is unlikely that other airlines will follow the suit who have asserted that they have built their business through an unfaltering commitment to employees and travelers. Even Southwest has stated that the strategic move was aimed at protecting the interests of the firm, employees, and the investors, in addition to offering reliable & cost-effective aerospace services to the customers.