WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Nearly 2,000, that’s how many flights Southwest Airlines has canceled in the last few days.
The cancellations started Friday evening and have snowballed through Monday. Southwest said it resulted from weather and other external issues that put airplanes and crews out of place.
The cancellations were an unexpected wake-up call for Kaylee Hollnagel, who planned to head home from Wichita on Monday.
“Just annoyed because I was already preparing myself for a long travel day,” Hollnagel said.
Hollnagel was left scrambling to find a plan to make it back to Pittsburgh in time for classes Tuesday.
“I pulled up like Expedia, Priceline, and all that trying to find something else. I tried to check different airports, tried to see if I could get a rental car drive to like Kansas City, Denver or something and fly out from there but ended up just having to find a totally different airline,” she explained.
For Allyson Ault, the Southwest cancellations have been a challenge all weekend.
“We had our connecting flight canceled in Las Vegas, and Southwest was able to get us to Oklahoma City. So, I rented a car in Oklahoma City, and we drove up,” Ault said.
The cancellations are now throwing obstacles to get back to California.
“We are hoping to get home today on Southwest, but just in case, I have a backup flight booked out of Wichita on another airline,” she said.
Many passengers like Ault just wanting answers.
“It’s unusual. I’ve never experienced anything like this with Southwest,” Ault said. “It just feels like there’s got to be a little bit more to the story since other airlines seem to be able to fly okay.”
Southwest Airlines gave the following statement to KSN:
“On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and Crews out of pre-planned positions to operate our schedule on Saturday. Unfortunately, the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our Crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday.
“While we do not have specific airport numbers to share, Southwest Teams have been working diligently to restore stability to the network, and we are experiencing less disruptions on Monday. We hope to restore our full schedule as soon as possible. As a note, the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest Employee demonstrations, as some outlets are reporting.
“To every Customer that experienced a cancellation or delay, Southwest offers our sincerest regret regarding disrupted travel plans, and we look forward to a future opportunity to demonstrate our safe, reliable, friendly, and legendary Southwest Hospitality – something that Customers should always expect from Southwest Airlines.
“If Customers require assistance from Southwest, they can utilize one of the airline’s self-service options for convenience or Contact Us via one of the methods listed on Southwest.com.”Southwest Airlines