Southwest weighs schedule adjustments, apologizes to workers after complaints

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 jet rolls for the gate after landing at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on April 6, 2021.

Kamil Krzaczynski | AFP | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines Apologized to workers Friday after their unions complained about stressful schedules this summer, saying they would consider changing dates for later this year.

The airline has added more flights to its schedule compared to some of its competitors to take advantage of increasing travel demand.

The increase in bookings was a welcome change compared to “a year ago, but we have to be honest with ourselves: It also put a strain on our operations and put a heavy burden on you all. And I’m really sorry,” wrote COO Mike Van de Ven in an employee notice viewed by CNBC.

Staff shortages have exacerbated problems such as bad weather for some airlines this summer and contributed to flight cancellations and delays. Southwest had a 64% punctuality rate between June 1 and August 18, less than American, delta and United, according to information from Cirium.

Van de Ven said the airline is continuing to evaluate our fourth quarter flight schedules and we are seriously reviewing flight altitudes to ensure our flying matches the personnel required to operate in this more complicated COVID environment.

Southwest declined to comment, but TWU Local 556, which represents the airline’s flight attendants, told members late Friday that the airline had reversed its course of adding an additional 720 crew assignments to its September plans.

The Southwest Pilots Union said Thursday it was Consideration of picket lines at US airports over Thanksgiving and Christmas to protest over crowded schedules, a lack of hotels and dining options, and other issues. Flight attendants raised similar issues this week.

“We will not follow our traditional staffing models as we will reassess our current situation in October, November and December,” wrote Van de Ven. “You come first.

The airline said earlier this week that it was struggling to hire new staff and was offering bonuses worth about. at $ 300 for employee referrals.

Southwest “continues to invest in a very aggressive hiring plan, even on a reduced schedule,” said Van de Ven.

Earlier this month the company did cut its sales forecast, which blames the rapidly expanding Covid-19 Delta variant for a decline in bookings and an increase in cancellations.

In this week, Spirit Airlines said it will cut some of its flight schedules for the remainder of the third quarter after more than 2,800 cancellations cost the company approximately $ 50 million.

Complaints in opposition to cell cost apps like Zelle, Venmo surge 300% as customers fall sufferer to more cash scams

Complaints against some digital payment services and apps like Venmo, Cash App, or Cell are soaring, according to a disturbing new report.

Non-Profit Research Group of Public Interest in the United States [PIRG] Major issues include fraud, problems using accounts, and poor customer service. The group analyzed more than 9,200 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2017 to April 2021.

The report found that more than 2,700 complaints were filed from January to April this year – compared with just over 600 in the same period last year.

Around four out of five Americans use mobile payment apps.

One of them is Luke Krafka, a professional cellist from Long Island, new York. Krafka often plays in concerts with rotating musicians who are usually paid for in cash – and he says mobile pay apps made this task a lot easier.

“Paypal, Venmo, Cash-App, yes. There is no paper, no checks, no waiting,” he told the CBS News Consumer Investigative Correspondence Anna Werner. “You get paid instantly, go to your bank account.”

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In October 2019 a new customer got in touch to hire him for a wedding.

“It was a normal wedding. And I reached out to my friends who are good for the gig, ”he said.

The customer told him he would send a check for about $ 1,000 for Krafka and another $ 950 to pay for the customer’s “Sound Man” – which he then asked from Krafka via a mobile payment app.

“I said, ‘Look, if you send me the money, it’s not a problem, that’s fine,'” Krafka remembers.

Mobile payment apps allow users to pay others instantly, via Bank accounts or credit cards connected to the app.

Their simplicity is usually a good thing, but not always, as Krafka found out after depositing the wedding clients’ check for $ 1,960.

“I checked the next day and the full amount was in my bank account,” he said.

Then, as requested, he sent the customer’s “soundman” $ 950 via the cell payment app.

“I think it was the next day that the check broke,” he said. “And when that happened, I slowly started putting it all together.”

The people who supposedly hired him stopped answering his calls – and he’d lost the $ 950.

“I said I think I was betrayed,” said Krafka.

PIRG’s report addressed over 9,000 complaints to federal regulators about digital wallets and payment apps, including PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, and Cell.

They found that those filed between January and April this year were more than 300% higher than the same period last year – with many losing money to fraud or fraud.

“If it’s a scammer, he won’t come back,” said Ed Mierzwinski, who oversees the PIRG’s federal consumer program.

Unlike credit or even debit cards, app transactions are instant, Mierzwinski said.

“There are no rules that protect you very well when your money goes from your account to someone else’s account,” he said.

It is especially difficult when the betrayed user initiated the transaction.

Krafka said he reached out to his bank to get the money back but was told they couldn’t help him.

“I was surprised that there was no legal recourse and that when it is finished it is finished and there is nothing more to be done,” said the professional musician.

Cell did not want to comment on Krafka’s case, but said his top priority was “protecting consumers from fraud and fraud”. The company offers a comprehensive list of recommendations on the website so that consumers can protect themselves.

Cash App has a consumer help center online and on their mobile app as well as a 7 day one Customer service phone number, and encourages people, “If you think you may have been a victim of fraud, contact Cash App Support immediately through the app or website.” They also offer articles about recognize and avoid Scam on their website.

Venmo and Paypal are challenging consumers who think they did fallen victim to fraud to “contact customer service directly”. They provide resources on what to look for and how to report it on your website.

“We also recommend that customers get in touch to share information about suspected spam. Our dedicated security team will review the information and take action if necessary, “the company website says.

All of the app companies told CBS News that they are working to stop bad actors and have processes in place to spot scams. They also warn consumers to be vigilant and only send money to people they know – not strangers.

BBC protection of Philip’s dying attracts report complaints | Leisure

LONDON (AP) – The BBC’s coverage of the death of Prince Philip has generated nearly 110,000 public complaints, making it the UK’s most objectionable television program

The station released its regular shows on two television channels on Friday to launch a series of special programs after Queen Elizabeth II’s husband passed away at the age of 99. Popular shows like “EastEnders” and the cooking contest show “Masterchef” have been postponed and replaced with news broadcasts and recorded honors, and the BBC Four channel has been completely taken off the air.

BBC radio stations also broadcast programs on Philip.

The BBC said in a statement Thursday that Philip’s death was a “significant event that attracted great interest both nationally and internationally,” but acknowledged that some felt the rolling coverage was excessive.

“We acknowledge that some viewers have been unhappy with the level of coverage and the impact this has had on the television and radio programming that is billed,” she continued. “We don’t make such changes without careful consideration and the choices we make reflect the role the BBC plays as a national broadcaster in moments of national importance.”

The company also received complaints about its decision to include Prince Andrew in its tribute coverage despite his association with U.S. sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. It said it had “handled his comments appropriately”, reported in detail on the allegations against Andrew and made it clear that he had not been charged with any criminal offense.

Guidelines on state use of stimulus cash prompts GOP complaints, lawsuit – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana Climate

(CNN) – Republican officials are in the arms over one of the conditions tied to the $ 350 billion state and local aid included in the Democrats’ massive aid package passed last week.

The restriction, added by the Senate Democrats, prompted the Ohio Attorney General to file a lawsuit Wednesday and his GOP colleagues to write an angry letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

There is a $ 1.9 trillion provision in the stimulus bill that could limit states’ ability to cut taxes. It is said that governments cannot use the funds “either directly or indirectly” to offset a decrease in net tax revenue resulting from changes such as tax cuts, discounts, deductions, credits or delays in tax increases or the introduction of a tax.

The rule can apply until 2024. This is the deadline by which states can obtain their aid.

The Treasury Department said Thursday that the aid is not intended for tax cuts, but that states are free to use other means to lower taxes.

Funding from state and local governments was one of the most controversial measures in the congressional aid agreements. Many states and communities suffered a decline in tax revenues due to the pandemic – although for some the declines were not as large as originally feared.

Democrats attempted to top up the $ 150 billion pot envisaged in the stimulus agreement passed a year ago, but Republicans successfully blocked it while controlling the Senate in 2020.

President Joe Biden’s package, which didn’t get GOP votes, sends more support, but it also includes the tax cut provision and one that bans states from pouring the money into their pension funds, which Republican lawmakers backed.

Entitlement to an unconstitutional tax mandate

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an injunction with the US District Court in South Ohio to prevent the enforcement of what he called the “tax mandate”. He said it was unconstitutional and exceeded the powers of Congress.

The state that expects to receive Aid of around $ 5.5 billionsuffered a loss of $ 1.1 billion in tax revenue for fiscal 2020 the movement.

“The tax mandate thus gives states a choice: they can either dispose of the urgently needed federal funds or their sovereign authority to determine state tax policy. But they can’t have both, ”the application says. “In our current economic crisis, that’s not an option at all. It’s a metaphorical “gun to the head”. “

Meanwhile, a coalition of 21 Republican attorneys general – led by Georgia, Arizona and West Virginia – wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday expressing concerns about the provision, particularly the ban on “indirectly offsetting” tax cuts and the list of prohibited measures.

The letter contained a number of tax measures that states are currently considering that officials fear may violate the relief law. These include increasing the standard deduction in Georgia, introducing tax credits in Indiana, and lowering income taxes in Montana.

The attorney general asked Yellen to confirm that the aid package will at most prevent states from expressly using the funds for direct tax cuts rather than for the purposes listed.

What states can do, according to the Treasury

The Treasury Department said the law does not prevent states from lowering taxes or from having to repay their aid if they do.

“In other words, states are free to make policy decisions to cut taxes – they simply cannot use the pandemic aid money to pay for those tax cuts,” an agency spokesman said.

Still, the Biden administration made it clear earlier this week that the aid is intended to deter states from laying off more workers – especially key workers. State and local governments have shed nearly 1.4 million jobs in the past 12 months.

“The original purpose of the state and local funding was to keep and employ police officers, firefighters and other key employees in the workplace, and it was not intended to cut taxes,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a Press conference on Monday.

Yost was not satisfied with the Treasury Department’s answer.

“It’s like saying,” But you can keep your wallet, the choice is yours, “right after the robber said” your wallet or your life, “” the attorney general said Thursday.

Roseville restricts Airbnb-style leases after complaints over events

After longstanding complaints from local residents about so-called “party houses”, the city of Roseville has taken steps to regulate short-term rentals such as those arranged through sites like Airbnb and VRBO.

The city council met on Monday and agreed to impose a number of restrictions on non-owner short-term rentals following complaints about overnight or weekend party parties.

Under the new rules, passed 5-0, owners who rent out their properties for short-term stays are now required to obtain a license and pay the city’s housing tax. The minimum stay in houses where the owner is not present will be 10 days from May to September and seven days between October and April.

The new rules also include penalties for violations of noise, parking and antisocial behavior, with homeowners potentially being required to suspend their short-term rental licenses if there are two violations within 180 days.

The meeting was heard by several local residents affected by short-term rentals, many of whom lived on McCarrons Lake, and they called for either longer minimum stays – possibly 14 days – or the elimination of short-term rentals altogether.

One of those homeowners, Frank Hess, said of the meeting: “It’s really difficult to live next to one of these, and I don’t think you can understand how bad it is [living next to one]having new neighbors all the time and making our area almost a resort. “

Opposition to the restrictions came from Simon Opatz of the St. Paul Area Realtors Association, who said the problems in Roseville stem from a small number of homes and that he disagreed that “a few problematic properties are punishing.” Justify homeowners. ” Operation of short-term rentals without complaints. “

“Allowing weekend rentals will give your city an economic boost,” he said. “Roseville is in the best position to benefit from the spillage of events in the twin cities.”

However, another homeowner, Renee Pardello, said if Roseville really wanted to be a tourist destination like Brainerd or Duluth, she should come up with a formal plan to make it happen.

The council eventually agreed to a compromise that would not completely satisfy either side, imposing restrictions on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals, but not to the extent requested by locals complaining about “party houses”.

“A number of people wanted us to ban them all together,” said Councilor Julie Strahan, adding, “I think we have more power when we allow them and have regulation around them.”

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