Delayed and canceled flights continue after meltdown

Passengers wait to board a Southwest flight to Washington DC Reagan Airport at 11:30 pm on December 25, 2022 at Dallas Love Field in Dallas, TX

Passengers wait to board a Southwest flight at Dallas Love Field in Dallas on December 25, 2022. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Southwest Airlines was responsible for the majority of flight cancellations and delays again on Tuesday, signaling that the airline’s recent problems are still not related to gate parking.

Latest: Southwest was responsible for 2,497 of the nearly 3,199 canceled US flights as of 12:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, according to FlightAware.

Why Southwest Airlines had delayed, canceled flights

Big picture: Southwest’s problems arise from a combination of extremes winter storms and how airline flight routes are structured, according to The Wall Street Journal.

  • Aircraft crew deployment system as well it crumbled under pressure from so many recent flight changes.
  • The airline said in Statement Monday that it was “staffed and prepared for the upcoming holiday weekend” before inclement weather disrupted its plans.
  • “These operational conditions have forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a scale and size that still has the tools our teams are using to recover an airline operating at full capacity,” Southwest said.
  • As Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan said Tuesday the plan for the next few days was to “fly a reduced schedule” and the company was “optimistic” to be back on track before next week.

Increase: The Points Guy Travel Blog wrote that “personnel and technological problems” sent the “carrier into a downward spiral”.

  • “Because schedules deteriorated so quickly in the middle of a winter storm, Southwest’s crew schedule could not keep up with the rapid changes needed to keep crews and aircraft in place,” The Points Guy reported.

Flashback: Southwest had a similar problem last year. Bad travel weather, pilot shortages and staffing issues led to numerous flight cancellations and delays.

What’s next: an overview of the Ministry of Transport

Southwest expects travelers have a difficult week ahead. The airline said it will fly about one-third of its schedule as it works its way through this mess.

  • Jordan said The Wall Street Journal he expected Tuesday to be another difficult day “while we work our way out” of the situation. “This is the biggest event I’ve ever seen,” he said.
  • An airline company He said seeks to “make things right for those we have failed,” including its own employees.
  • Southwest has reserved hotels, rental cars and tickets for customers affected by the delays, Ryan Green, Southwest’s chief commercial officer, told the Journal.

Remark: American Airlines chirped that it was “doing our part to help people get where they need to be and we’re capping fares for select cities” in response to a Twitter user saying the airline was “inflating prices.”

What we watch: The Department of Transport said he would review Southwest’s actions and customer service policies that contributed to the rough holiday trip weekend.

  • The agency said it was “concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable cancellation and delay rates and reports of a lack of prompt customer service” and would “investigate whether cancellations can be controlled and Southwest’s adherence to its customer service plan.”

What they say: US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg he told CNN He spoke with Jordan on Tuesday and “made it clear that our department will hold them accountable for their responsibilities to customers, to get them out of this situation and to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

  • Two Democratic senators said Tuesday that Southwest is “failing consumers” and called on the carrier to “reimburse passengers” for rebooked or refunded tickets, hotel and meal fees and “substantial monetary compensation for the disruption to their vacation plans.”
  • “Southwest cannot avoid compensating passengers by claiming these flight cancellations were caused by recent winter storms,” ​​Sen said. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in joint statement.

More from Axios:

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new numbers of canceled flights, a statement from Democratic Sens. Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal and additional commentary from Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan.

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