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If you were affected by the travel meltdown caused by Southwest Airlines last year, you could be in line for a new travel voucher from the airline.

If you happened to do any traveling on Southwest Airlines over the holidays a year ago back in December of 2022, and you got to your destination, consider yourself lucky. Just to refresh your memory, Southwest experienced an epic travel meltdown that led to nearly 17,000 flight cancellations and stranded 2 million passengers over the holiday travel period last year, according to Reuters.

And now, Southwest has agreed to pay the piper, so to speak. Reuters reports that Southwest just agreed to a record-setting $140 million civil penalty from the U.S. government. And, includes a new provision to provide travel vouchers to those who were impacted by that meltdown. Which could be any of us in Minnesota, if you happened to fly Southwest last December.

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Just to put this fine in perspective, ABC News says that it is massive, noting that the  U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) civil penalty levied on Southwest is 'about 30 times larger than any previous fine against an airline.'

But here's where ABC News says YOU could be affected:

The DOT said it will also require Southwest to start issuing a $75 flight credit to any passenger whose arrival is delayed more than 3 hours when it's the airline's fault, including mechanical issues.

Southwest Airlines says it will offer those vouchers "upon request," Reuters says.  (It didn't say just HOW one might go about making such a request, however.) Southwest already has an entire page and online action plan about steps it has taken to avoid having another meltdown similar to the one that happened a year ago.

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Gallery Credit: Lauren Wells

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