As this week’s wave of flight cancellations led by Southwest Airlines continues, other major carriers have announced they will institute price caps, particularly in cities where Southwest operates, to limit the financial burden on stranded travelers trying to reach to their destinations.
They include American, United and Delta, all of which said they would cap fares in all markets where Southwest operates through Monday.
But despite the announcements, airfare data shows that prices to and from many affected destinations remain very high.
Flight information from Google shows that prices for one-way flights from airports such as Nashville International, Ronald Reagan Washington International and Chicago Midway International, all southwestern hubs, will increase in the coming days.
For example, a one-way ticket departing Thursday from Nashville, Tennessee, to Denver International Airport, two hubs hit hard by this week’s flight cancellations. starts at $899.
A one-way flight from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles International Airport departing Thursday starts at $1,527.
Many flyers have expressed their frustration on social media.
Suzanne Durham, a Nashville-based music industry professional, had spent Christmas in Boston and was scheduled to return home Monday via Southwest. After her original flight was cancelled, she was able to rebook another flight on Southwest that would leave later in the week, but she had a feeling that flight would be canceled as well.
So he decided to book an additional flight on American Airlines for more than $900, he said.
“When I was booking that flight, I couldn’t believe it was so expensive,” Durham said in a follow-up interview. She said American did not specify what class the ticket was in and it turned out to be business class.
“It wasn’t even first class,” Durham said. “They’re absolutely price gouging, in my opinion.”
Durham, who expressed his frustrations Monday on Twitter, said an American Airlines representative responded by noting that “fares depend on some destinations.”
A representative for American Airlines pointed out to NBC News a buried tweet in response to a user who said select cities would see price caps. The representative declined to share any further details.
Other flyers shared similar stories on Twitter about much higher fees.
Meanwhile, Southwest’s commercial director, Ryan Green, apologized for the travel chaos in a video on Wednesday night, telling passengers they can submit full refund requests for canceled flights and submit travel expenses to the airline’s account. website.
“My personal apology is the first step in making things right after so many plans changed and experiences fell short of their expectations of us,” Green said. “We keep working to make it up to you.”
A representative for the Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In an interview with Nexstar Media on TuesdayTransportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg applauded airlines for instituting price caps.
“No one should take advantage of the situation,” said Buttigieg, who acknowledged that the department may have limited legal authority to substantially address the situation.
“We really hope that the airlines will go beyond the legal minimum and do the right thing here,” he said. “It shouldn’t take an enforcement action from our department to get people to deal with it or get their money back.”
Tim Stelloh contributed.