Southwest Airlines Says Normal Schedules Will Be Back Starting Tomorrow
It’s been a bumpy ride for Southwest passengers this holiday season. The budget airline led the pack when it came to flight cancellations during the pre-Christmas cold snap and has struggled to find its footing since then. However, Southwest Airlines has said that it will be resuming normal flight schedules starting tomorrow (Friday, December 30, 2022) bringing the 8 -day standstill to an end!
According to a recent piece on CNN.com, Southwest released a statement this morning saying that it hoped to be back on track with minimal disruptions over the New Year’s weekend. “We are encouraged by the progress we’ve made to realign crew, their schedules, and our fleet,” the statement read “With another holiday weekend full of important connections for our valued customers and employees, we are eager to return to a state of normalcy.”
The airline then goes on to apologize for the operational breakdown that resulted in 2,300 flights being cancelled yesterday. The statement continues, “We know even our deepest apologies – to our customers, to our employees, and to all affected through this disruption – only go so far.”
Southwest has set up a special webpage to help guests who have had their travel disrupted. Those with cancelled flights that are looking for refunds and reimbursement requests are being directed to go to the site. Guests who have lost their baggage are also being advised to visit the site.
The website is Southwest.com/traveldisruption
As of going to print, over 2,500 flights have been canceled for today (Thursday, December 29, 2022.) 95% of these are Southwest flights. According to CNN, the hardest hit airports include Denver International, Chicago Midway, Harry Reid (Las Vegas), Dallas Love Field, Nashville International and Baltimore/Washington International.
Southwest cancelled roughly 15,750 since December 22nd. Other airlines were also impacted by last week’s storm however, most were able to bounce back in the days leading up to Christmas. One reasons Southwest buckled under the pressure is due to the fact that unlike other airlines, Southwest does not have agreements with other carriers to rebook passengers on a different airline when flights are cancelled.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has said that the government will be holding Southwest accountable for their obligation to customers and to make sure that a situation like this doesn’t happen again.
As CNN highlights, guests impacted by a Southwest cancelations should’ve received everything from meal vouchers and accommodation to refunds when flights were canceled and guests opted not to travel. Buttigieg said that he told Southwest CEO Bob Jordan that he expects Southwest to continue to offer refunds and reimbursements to impacted travelers.
In an official statement, Southwest said, “We will honor reasonable requests for reimbursement for meals, hotel, and alternate transportation.”
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