NATIONAL NEWS

Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue to snowball

Dec 28, 2022, 8:50 AM

FILE — Stranded travelers search for their luggage at the Southwest Airlines Baggage Claim at Mi...

FILE — Stranded travelers search for their luggage at the Southwest Airlines Baggage Claim at Midway Airport on December 27, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. A snowstorm and severe cold front that hit Chicago before the holiday weekend stranded many travelers and their luggage. Southwest Airlines has canceled approximately 5,400 flights in less than 48 hours due to a variety of issues including this year’s historic winter storm and scheduling complications involving crew members. On Monday, Southwest had 10 times more flights canceled than Delta Airlines, which had the second most cancellations nationwide this holiday season. (Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) — Families hoping to catch a Southwest Airlines flight after days of cancellations, missing luggage and missed family connections suffered through another wave of scrubbed flights, with another 2,500 pulled from arrival and departure boards Wednesday.

Exhausted travelers sought passage by other means using different airlines, rental cars, or trains — or they’ve simply given up.

According to the FlightAware tracking service, more than 91% of all canceled flights in the U.S. early Wednesday were from Southwest, which has been unable to recover from ferocious winter storms that raked large swaths of the country over the weekend.

The operational systems of Southwest have been uniquely effected, so much so that the federal government is now investigating what happened at the Dallas carrier, which has frustrated its own flight and ground crews as well.

This week, with cancellations from other major airlines ranging from none to 2%, Southwest has canceled nearly 10,000 flights as of Wednesday and warned of thousands more Thursday and Friday, according to FlightAware.

In a video that Southwest posted late Tuesday, CEO Robert Jordan said Southwest would operate a reduced schedule for several days but hoped to be “back on track before next week.”

Jordan blamed the winter storm for snarling the airline’s “highly complex” network. He said Southwest’s tools for recovering from disruptions work “99% of the time, but clearly we need to double down” on upgrading systems to avoid a repeat of this week.

“We have some real work to do in making this right,” said Jordan, a 34-year Southwest veteran who became CEO in February. “For now, I want you to know that we are committed to that.”

The airline is now drawing unwanted attention from Washington.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has criticized airlines for previous disruptions, said his agency would examine the causes of Southwest’s widespread cancellations and whether the airline was meeting its legal obligations to stranded customers.

“Because what we’re seeing right now, from the system and the flights themselves to the inability to reach anybody on a customer service phone line, it is just completely unacceptable,” Buttigieg told CBS early Wednesday.

In Congress, the Senate Commerce Committee also promised an investigation. Two Senate Democrats called on Southwest to provide “significant” compensation for stranded travelers, saying that the airline has the money because it plans to pay $428 million in dividends next month.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Smoke fills the sky from the South Fork Fire in Ruidoso, New Mexico, on June 17. (Courtesy Jesus Fi...

Fabiana Chaparro, Jillian Sykes and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

New Mexico governor declares state of emergency due to wildfires

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Reservation as two wildfires continue to burn across the southern part of the state.

33 minutes ago

Anderson Lee Aldrich, center, sits during a court appearance in Colorado Springs in November 2022. ...

Dakin Andone, Lucy Kafanov and Zoe Sottile, CNN

Shooter who killed 5 at a Colorado LGBTQ+ club pleads guilty to 50 federal hate crimes

The shooter who killed 5 at a Colorado LGBTQ+ club in 2022 pleaded guilty to 50 federal hate crimes on Tuesday.

2 hours ago

"Team USA uniforms celebrate classic styles that are made to be loved and endure for generations," ...

Alex Rees, CNN

Team USA’s new Olympic uniforms revealed

This year's Team USA uniform was inspired by the destination of the 2024 Games, otherwise known as the fashion capital of the world.

5 hours ago

Some fast food customers have complained that AI can get their orders wrong, a result of the techno...

 Erika Tulfo, CNN

McDonald’s pulls AI ordering from drive-thrus — for now

McDonald’s is pulling the plug on artificial intelligence ordering technology it was testing at more than 100 restaurant drive-thru systems in the US.

6 hours ago

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 09: Justin Timberlake attends the Los Angeles Premiere FYC Event for ...

Associated Press

Singer Justin Timberlake arrested, accused of driving while intoxicated on New York’s Long Island

Singer Justin Timberlake was arrested early Tuesday and is accused of DUI on New York’s Long Island, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Curator Lily Carhart shows a pipette they used to extract liquid from a few dozen 18th-century glas...

Associated Press

No lie: Perfectly preserved centuries-old cherries unearthed at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

George Washington never did cut down the cherry tree, despite the famous story to the contrary, but he did pack away quite a few bottles of the fruit at his Mount Vernon home.

24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue to snowball