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Southwest Says It Plans to Restore Normal Flight Schedule Friday

The couple received vouchers from Southwest to remain on the hotel that night and booked a rental automotive online from the Baltimore airport wherein they planned to drive back to Orlando. But after they went to choose up the automotive, it wasn’t available. Finally, Mrs. Benitez’s brother, who they were visiting in Virginia, found them a rental automotive there, picked them up in Baltimore, and dropped them off on the rental automotive in Virginia.

Ms Benitez and her husband drove 12 hours back to Orlando and returned home on Tuesday, finally opening Christmas presents, she said. Southwest “gave us coupons, but that may’t make up for the lack of time, joy or holiday spirit,” she said.

Despite the chaos over the past few days, Southwest may bounce back, partially since it has built up loads of goodwill amongst loyal customers over its 50-year history, said Jason Mudd, chief executive of Axia Public Relations, which helps firms through the crisis, but not has Southwest as a client.

“Usually it’s one other airline or one other brand within the industry that we hear about having very long delays and cancellations,” said Mudd. “Southwest appears to be quite reliable, or at the least has a popularity for being very reliable, timely and efficient.”

Mr. Mudd cited the Tylenol poisonings of 1982, when someone added potassium cyanide to Tylenol Extra-Strength, causing seven deaths in Chicago and resulting in other similar attacks. Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Tylenol manufacturer, responded by adding recent safety features to its bottles.

“When things are done right, organizations put people before profits and do the appropriate thing,” said Mudd. “In this case, I’m counting on Southwest to do it.”

Southwest’s share price closed about 4 percent higher on Thursday following the corporate’s announcement.

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