Southwest Airlines was again responsible for the majority of flight cancellations and delays on Tuesday, indicating the airline’s recent problems haven’t parked it at the gate yet.
latest: Of the approximately 3,199 flights canceled as of 12:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, 2,497 flights were with Southwest Airlines, according to FlightAware.
Why Southwest Airlines delayed and canceled flights
Big picture: According to The Wall Street Journal, Southwest Airlines’ problems are due to a combination of extreme winter storms and the structure of the airline’s flight routes.
- Airline crew scheduling systems have also collapsed under the pressure of so many recent flight changes.
- The airline said in a statement on Monday that it was “staffed and ready for the upcoming holiday weekend” before inclement weather disrupted its plans.
- “These operating conditions have necessitated daily changes to flight schedules at a volume and scale that our teams still have the tools to use to restore the airline operating at capacity.” Southwest said.
- As Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan said on Tuesday, the plan for the next few days is to “fly on a shortened schedule,” with the company expected to be back on track by next week. He was deaf and optimistic.
Zoom in: Travel blog The Points Guy wrote that “staffing and technology issues sent airlines into a downward spiral.”
- “With the schedule deteriorating rapidly during the winter storm, the Southwest Airlines crew’s schedule struggled to keep up with the rapid changes needed to keep the crew and planes in place.” Point Guy reported.
Flashback: We had a similar problem last year in Southwest. Many flights were canceled or delayed due to bad weather, pilot shortages and staffing issues during the trip.
Next Steps: Department of Transportation Review
Southwest hopes A tough week awaits travelers. Airlines said they will be flying about a third of their schedules to get through this week’s disruptions.
- Jordan told The Wall Street Journal he expects Tuesday to be another tough day “to get out” of the situation. “This is the biggest event I have ever seen,” he said.
- Airlines aim to “make things right for the people we’ve let down,” including their own employees.
- Southwest Airlines is booking hotels, rental cars and tickets for customers affected by the delay, Southwest Airlines chief commercial officer Ryan Green told the WSJ.
note: american airlines murmured In response to a Twitter user who said the airline was “inflating prices,” he said, “We are doing our part to help people get where they need to be and capping fares in some cities. I have set it up,” he said.
What we see: of transportation bureau said it will review Southwest’s actions and customer service policies that contributed to the rough weekend of vacation travel.
- The agency said it was “concerned by reports of Southwest’s unacceptable cancellation rates and delays and lack of prompt customer service,” adding, “Whether the cancellations were controllable and whether Southwest has a customer service plan. We will investigate compliance with the
What they say: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN Speaking with Jordan on Tuesday, he said, “Our department has made it clear that we will hold them accountable for their responsibilities to customers in order to work through this situation and ensure that this does not happen again.
- Two Democratic senators said on Tuesday that Southwest Airlines is “disappointing consumers,” prompting airlines to rebook or refund airline tickets, refund hotel and meals, and “large sums of money for disruptions to vacation plans.” It called for “compensating the passengers” with “financial compensation for the passengers.”
- “Southwest Airlines cannot avoid compensating passengers, claiming these flight cancellations were caused by recent winter storms,” said Senators Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Richard Blumenthal (Democrat, Connecticut) said: Joint statement.
Details from Axios:
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with new flight cancellation numbers, statements from Democratic Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal, and additional comments from Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan.