THE US Department of Transportation has announced a probe into Southwest Airlines Co’s scheduling following the holiday travel meltdown last month.

The agency is looking into more flights being sold than the airline could realistically operate.

The Department of Transportation announced a probe into Southwest Airlines’ scheduling after the holiday meltdown last month

The department is in the initial phase of its comprehensive investigation into the fiasco that happened in late December.

Part of the investigation is to determine whether Southwest took part in an “unfair and deceptive practice” by offering a schedule that could not be met.

“DOT will leverage the full extent of its investigative and enforcement power to ensure consumers are protected and this process will continue to evolve as the Department learns more,” a spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.

The probe is also to ensure that the airline complies with rules around giving refunds to customers affected by the incident and reimbursing expenses, said the DOT.

More than 16,700 flights from December 21 to December 31 were canceled by Southwest following a severe winter storm that hit the country before Christmas.

Nearly two-thirds of the airlines’ flights were slashed for three days as they tried to reset.

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