In the wake of the cancellation of more than 71% of their flights following the Christmas winter storms, Southwest Airlines’ struggles continue as they are expected to cancel another 2,500 of their flights on Wednesday the 28th. The company has struggled to recover from what they claim was “operational changes” made during the winter storms that swept over the U.S. just before Christmas Eve. The significant number of cancellations and slow recovery by the major airline has even forced the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, to comment on the situation.
Hannah Bleau; December 28, 2022
Southwest Airlines’ travel woes are continuing as the major airline attempts to recover from what it has described as “operational challenges,” canceling over 2,600 flights on Tuesday alone.
The travel issues began days ahead of Christmas as a massive winter storm battered the U.S. But while other U.S. airlines experienced varying disruptions, Southwest has failed to regain its footing, canceling thousands of flights day by day.
Christmas day, Southwest canceled 1,635 flights, accounting for over half of canceled flights related to the U.S. that day. The following day, Southwest canceled 71 percent of its flights– 2,909, specifically.
As Breitbart News reported at the time:
That is significantly more than airlines such as Delta or American, which on Monday canceled 276 and 14 flights, respectively. In other words, Delta canceled nine percent of its flights, and American was still hovering at zero percent compared to Southwest’s 71 percent.
The situation did not see significant improvements on Tuesday, as Southwest canceled 64 percent of its flights — 2,694 — according to data from FlightAware. There were 3,211 canceled U.S.-related flights on Tuesday, and Southwest comprised 84 percent of those cancellations.
Southwest was on track for another dismal day in terms of cancellations on Wednesday, with 2,508 canceled flights as of 10:15 a.m. ET.
In a Christmas Eve statement, Southwest attributed the “operational challenges” to the weather, contending that the airline was “fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent.”
That same statement warned that, during their “recovery operation,” flights would be scaled-backed by flying “roughly one third” of its schedule.
Southwest CEO Bob Jordan apologized in a video statement released Tuesday evening and said the airline will continue working on a reduced flight schedule with hope of being “back on track before next week”.
Photo: AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura