Chicago (WLS) — Southwest Airlines on Tuesday continues to grapple with the crisis that has left thousands of passengers stranded across the country.
Tuesday was expected to be the busiest day of the holiday travel season at Midway Airport. Instead, Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights.
The US Department of Transportation calls it unacceptable.
What should I do if my flight is canceled or delayed? How to prepare for possible travel disruptions in 2022
Cancellations are frustrating for many people traveling to and from Midway Airport.
People are checking in for Southwest Airlines flights, hoping to go home.
Southwest Airlines canceled 60% of its flights nationwide on Tuesday. On Monday, 70% canceled.
Luggage continued to pile up in baggage claim on Midway, hundreds of bags forming a sea of luggage as far as the eye could see. But few are there to acquire them. The bag has been flying without an owner for days.
“I think I should have had a backpack because they are telling me the flight has been cancelled. Our luggage is going to its destination, Raleigh-Durham, without us.” “I’m in the middle of the road,” said John Lew, whose flight was cancelled.
“I left New Orleans two and a half days ago. Canceled. Late. Canceled. Late. Canceled,” said Carolyn Irving, who was looking for the bag. “I hope you can find the package because it contains medicine. There is a gift in it. But when you call, no one comes to pick you up.”
Many people waited in line for over five and a half hours to rebook their canceled flights.
Cormac of Naperville was unable to take the cruise.
“I can only say it’s frustrating,” said Noel Cormack. “Why didn’t they see this happening? Or how could they have been better prepared for it?”
“As of yesterday, I had to cancel the hotel, so I have to pay for the hotel,” said Kathy Cormack. “I can’t do that.”
The cancellation is the result of severe weather wreaking havoc on Southwest Airlines’ point-to-point flight network, which is unique among major airlines.
“The problem with Southwest Airlines is that the system isn’t working properly, and the snowstorm is moving, and we haven’t been able to reset operations,” said Joe Schwitterman, a DePaul University professor and aviation expert. There is nothing,” he said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation tweeted: “USDOT is concerned about Southwest Airlines’ unacceptable cancellations and delays. & reports of lack of prompt customer service. The department will investigate whether the cancellation was controllable and whether Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”
Casey Murray, Southwest captain and union chairman, told ABC News the situation was “devastating.”
“The Southwest is failing at every level. Pilots and frontline workers have worked under a lot of stress to get passengers from point A to point B, but as far as the Southwest goes. , was treated very badly,” Murray said.
The flight attendants union also released a statement, some of which said: It’s Christmas. ”
Southwest has issued a statement addressing the situation, as part of which it said, “We have experienced continued extreme winter weather across our network, and the ongoing challenges are severely unacceptable to our customers and employees. influences members.
“And the sincere apology for this is just the beginning.
“We are working with safety on the front lines to urgently address the massive disruptions by rebalancing our airlines, redeploying crews and aircraft, and will eventually travel with us. We are committed to providing the best possible service to all of our customers.”
But today’s passengers may be entitled to more than that, according to one industry expert.
“Creating a safe, secure and efficient environment for our passengers and employees is our top priority at the Chicago Aviation Authority (CDA),” the Chicago Aviation Authority said in a statement.
“With the support of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Lee, CDA staff, airline and FAA partners, Chicago’s airports support increased passenger traffic during the holiday season.
“Passengers should check the flight status with the airline before coming to the airport.”
Cook County Radar | DuPage County Radar | Will County Radar | Lake County Radar, Illinois | Kane County Radar | Northwest Indiana Radar
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.