Update: Southwest Plans To Return To Normal Heading Into New Years Weekend

Southwest stated Thursday that they were planning to return to normal on Friday. While Southwest passengers have been suffering from a travel nightmare with thousands of cancellations and lost bags, Southwest’s travel plans seem to be leveling out as the company heads into another business travel weekend. In a recent statement, they mentioned minimal disruptions starting Friday as employees have been working around the clock to get things back on track.

However now, with all of the trouble Southwest has seen, and many airports have seen, lost luggage is piling up at airports nationwide. Thousands of flights have been canceled since last weekend, so many bags are just piling up. And while security guards and police officers are watching over bags, there are lines of passengers waiting for theirs, or their bags are lost in another airport stranding passengers without their belongings.

Southwest Airlines was responsible for the majority of flight cancellations and delays in the U.S. for the third straight day on Wednesday. Meaning the airline’s holiday troubles aren’t over yet. As of Wednesday evening, Southwest has accounted for 2509 or 61% of cancellations and 318 or 7% of delays amongst airlines, according to FlightAware. Southwest had canceled 65% of its flights that were scheduled for Tuesday as well.

After a catastrophic week of weather-related flight cancellations and delays, nearly 4,670 flights were canceled as of Tuesday at 11:20 a.m. ET according to FlightAware with 2,544 of those flights being Southwest alone. These cancellations are coming after a full day of post-Christmas travel chaos, with 3,989 flights canceled Monday – 2,909 of those being Southwest flights. And now the U.S. Department of Transportation is saying they will look into flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines.

While many airlines were forced to cancel flights due to weather, Southwest has been the most affected. A Southwest spokesperson, Jay McVay, stated that the cancellations snowballed as storm systems moved across the county, leaving flight crews and planes out of place. As of now the most affected airports Tuesday, due to the cancellations, are Denver International, followed by Chicago Midway International, Baltimore/Washington International, Harry Reid International, Nashville International, and Dallas Love Field.

Southwest has warned that cancellations and delays could continue into the week as the company plans to dial back its flight schedule to get operations on track. Though for stranded passengers, the headache doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon as lines are building at Southwest’s ticket counters to rebook flights or make connections. And luggage is piling up as massive amounts of unclaimed bags and lost luggage dampen the moods of those who were able to make flights.


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  1. Stephen Russell January 2, 2023