Five-hour wait times, flight shopping and a rental car rush: Southwest cancellations send travelers scrambling

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Southwest Airlines Apologizes For This Weekend recession In a memorandum to employees on Sunday.

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Alan Kasher, the airline’s executive vice president of daily operations. 1,900 flight canceled Passengers and flight crew stranded across the country.

On Sunday alone, the airline canceled 1,085 flights or about 30% of its scheduled flights.


“I know this is incredibly difficult for all of you, and our customers are not happy,” Kasher said.

Melissa Todd and Other Affected Travelers Are Beyond “Not Happy” With Southwest’s Latest sting of cancellation one in tough years for the airline.

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Todd is frustrated, exhausted and out of an estimated $300 in rental car drop-off fees when Southwest canceled its flight on Sunday.

Instead of flying southwest from Baltimore to New York after a weekend wedding in Virginia, the Buffalo woman and her husband drove the car for nine hours they were planning to return to the airport.

Southwest Airlines flight woes continue: 1,000 Sunday Cancellations…and Counting

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Todd said it was the only option because her husband, who works in law enforcement, has to work early Monday mornings because his employer is strict about taking him out of work on holidays.

The earliest Southwest could get them home was Tuesday. Todd said he waited with Southwest for five hours early Sunday in hopes of finding other options, but had to hang up because his phone was overheating and running out of time. (Southwest has a caveat about long wait times—a big problem in the summer for many airlines—but) Website.)

“We knew we just needed to get in the car and drive,” she said.

Vincent Marino’s Southwest flight from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix with a dozen family members took off as planned on Saturday but his daughter’s subsequent flight was cancelled. She had to rent a car and drive a few hours to catch a Delta Air Lines flight to Phoenix via Los Angeles on Sunday so she and her 4-year-old son could meet for the “trip of a lifetime” to Sedona. Can you Arizona.

Tab: $380 per person plus rental car expenses. (Merino said that Southwest gave them travel credit for the canceled flight; they were eligible for refund Since the airline canceled the flight.)

Marino, who prefers to fly Southwest, said he doesn’t buy the airline’s explanation for the mass flight cancellations and says it looks like related labor action. Vaccine Mandate union, company and notwithstanding Federal Aviation Administration The statements show that this was not the case. Those theories took over Twitter this weekend, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) among those weighing in on Sunday.

“I’d just like them to be more transparent and just say, “Hey, this is what’s happening,” Merino said.

Kasher’s memo reiterated the airline’s initial comments that air traffic control issues and bad weather in Florida were to blame. as it happened Spirit Airlines two months agoHowever, early cancellations and delays quickly snowballed as flight crews ran out of time and could not fly the planned flights. Some did not even get hotels to stay. All this against a backdrop of employee issues that plague the airline and others all summer.

“All of these challenges put pressure on our crew member regulatory and contractual limits, which in turn became a staffing challenge – leading to more cancellations than expected,” Kasher said.

Spirit Airlines Meltdown: ‘Only a parade of incompetence’

Southwest’s flight woes hit St. Louis attorney Asim Raza and his wife, as well as online shopping for airline tickets, when their 19-year-old son’s flight to school in Washington, D.C. on Sunday morning was canceled late Saturday. Given. He had to come back for the meeting.

They said they got some last-minute tickets, but some were up to $1,000 one way, he said.

“We’re like, ‘Holy cow, you just have to go later and miss your meeting,'” Raza said.

He eventually got a ticket on American using the Frequent Flyer Mile.

He reached out to Southwest on Twitter (politely), describing himself as a longtime supporter of the airline. The airline responded with the promise of a travel voucher, as well as returning frequent flyer points he had used for his son’s travel home.

“I didn’t ask for anything; they just offered it,” he said, “that we appreciate your business and we’re going to send you a travel voucher for your troubles.”

Southwest has not publicly discussed what it is doing for passengers stranded in this weekend’s flight cancellations. spirit sent Traveler $50 Voucher, even though their flights left on time during the seven days of cancellations in late July and early August.

Todd couldn’t reach anyone at Southwest to ask about vouchers or rental car expenses, but said this weekend’s experience has soured his relationship with the airline he’s been working on for more than 25 years. has flown.

“I know that five years ago… if something went wrong they would be taking care of you,” she said. “And now, it doesn’t look like that’s happening. They’re not taking any responsibility. They’re not compensating as they did.”

She and her family have Southwest tickets to Florida in November, but plan to cancel them now.

“We’re not going to take the chance and roll the dice at him,” she said.

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