Southwest cancels or delays over 1,000 flights so far this weekend, with more expected
Southwest Airlines finds itself in a tough spot once again this weekend as it canceled hundreds of flights yesterday and today and delayed well over 1,000 more due to weather, according to the airline.
The airline canceled or delayed the equivalent of 45% of its schedule Friday, and it's logged another 281 cancellations and 462 delays as of publication time today. It's likely there will be more to come as the day goes on.
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TPG reached out to Southwest for comment on the reason behind these irregular operations and received the following statement:
“We are proactively canceling more than 150 flights today, from our schedule of more than 3,200 flights slated for Saturday, due to widespread thunderstorms expected across parts of the nation, including areas such as DEN, MCO, MDW, and STL. These proactive cancellations will allow us to minimize delays and diversions due to the storms and probable ATC initiatives.”
It's no secret that airlines have also been struggling in recent days and weeks with labor shortages in conjunction with a rapid rise in demand for flights. Just this week, American Airlines shared that it would be canceling about 1% of its flight schedule in July, blaming it on weather and the ongoing labor shortage in the industry.
And Southwest itself has struggled recently with operations, suffering two total system outages in 24 hours, leading to widespread cancellations and delays.
Whatever factors contributed to the setbacks, cancellations and delays have understandably led to frustrated flyers, many of whom have taken to Twitter to voice their complaints about not being able to get a hold of the airline's customer service department or being offered flights that would get them to their destinations multiple days later than originally planned.
The best thing you can do if you're flying Southwest this weekend is to proactively check the status of your flights. If you start noticing delays -- or happen to be on a flight that gets canceled -- use the airline's mobile app to attempt to rebook yourself on a new flight as soon as you can.