With Southwest Airlines’ promotional half-priced tickets offer on Friday leading to a more-than-expected payment for a number of customers, the airlines clarified on Sunday that the ticket woes had been caused by a computer glitch which was, in turn, an upshot of multiple bookings.
The special ‘half-price ticket’ promotion which got underway on Friday essentially marked a celebration by Southwest for achieving the milestone of ‘three million fans’ on its Facebook page. For the promotion, the airlines announced a 50 percent reduction in cost of its certain tickets for customers who booked flights on Friday.
Stating that the backfiring of Southwest Airlines’ half-price ticket sale was not a result of a hack, the airlines’ spokeswoman Ashley Dillon said on Saturday that the problem was caused by “a technology glitch” in the Southwest system which led to a duplicating of bookings and billings to the debit and credit cards of the customers.
Noting that the “website performance issues” linked to the promotional offer were largely caused by the “overwhelming response” to the offer, Southwest said in a statement on its website that it realized that “some customers were charged more than once for the same reservation.”
With infuriated customers overwhelming the Southwest telephone lines to complain about the overcharge, the airline said that all duplicate purchases will be refunded and all additional bookings will be cancelled. In addition, the airline also said that reassured the affected customers that any overdraft penalties which they paid for exceeding their limit would also be reimbursed.