Thousands of flights canceled or delayed, majority Southwest Airlines – WUSA9.com

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WASHINGTON — Stress levels were high and lines were long at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport after many flights were canceled.
According to FlightAware more than 5,400 flights were canceled globally on Monday. More than 2,700 of them were Southwest Airlines flights.
“I’m sitting here on my phone,” said Jeremiah Brown “I really hope this flight doesn’t get delayed again.”
Claire O’Connor waited in the airport with her dog Daisy. She told WUSA9 she only learned her flight was delayed after she was already on her way to the airport.
“On the way over we saw it was delayed an hour. Since we’ve been here it’s been delayed another hour and a half,” she said.
About 10 minutes later she told WUSA9 her flight had been canceled. “We’re stuck here another day.”
Another man told WUSA9 he’d been standing in cancelation lines for 14 hours. He teared up as he described how his young daughter slept on the floor in the airport overnight, as they waited for another flight.
“We just got our third flight maybe an hour and a half, two hours ago and it got canceled now,” he said.
 “I’m so tired I don’t even know what day it is,” said Christina Reynolds, who told WUSA9 she’d been at the airport for more than 36 hours.  
“I’ve been in these clothes including the boots for 36 hours,” she said.
She began her journey in Albany, NY. She said she was headed to Atlanta, GA for Christmas, to meet the parents of her son’s girlfriend. She had a transfer at BWI, and that’s where things went south.
“I was supposed to land in Atlanta at 7:40 in the evening. I got on board at about midnight. Finally some time after 1 o’clock the captain came on and told us the flight had been canceled,” she told WUSA9.
“We’d been on the plane for an hour and a half,” said Reynolds
She has now canceled her Christmas plans and is just trying to get back home, alongside so many others who stood in cancellation lines at BWI for hours.
THIS is the line for cancellations 😳@wusa9 pic.twitter.com/JeOyK0icu5
“This was an f-ing waste of time and money. This is the worst Christmas I’ve ever had,” said Reynolds.
The same problem could be seen at Reagan National Airport where an airline representative told customers over the intercom that additional flights will be canceled. The message delivered stressed rebooking is limited. 
The ongoing cancelations and delays forced Karen Mullins of Rosslyn to return home instead of trying to fly to New Orleans. 
While she understands weather played a factor, she questions if there is more to the widespread issue.
“That’s all we’ve been told was the weather, but we’re seeing other planes fly out of here,” Mullins told WUSA9. “Let them know this is is unacceptable because these are the words that I spoke as I was exiting out of here because it is unacceptable.”
"This is unacceptable!"

Karen Mullins of Arlington is fed up! She shares the same anger and frustration as many @SouthwestAir customers left in limbo after their flights were canceled at @Reagan_Airport.

"This is not tolerated!"@wusa9 pic.twitter.com/ZksYSaugx9
The line to speak to an agent took hours for customers such as Olivia Cummings, whose flight to Los Angeles was canceled. 
“The line wrapped all the way around the corner and we’re still not in the main line,” she said. “I’m exhausted. I’m very frustrated but I’m trying to stay positive about the situation.”
Staying positive is hard for people told they are unable to book another flight until at least Friday. 
The United States Department of Transportation says it will investigate the operational failure. 
In a tweet, it said, “The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”
USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service. The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.
Southwest sent WUSA9 the following statement:
Southwest Airlines Working to Recover from Operational Challenges: Update 6 – Dec 26, 2022
With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our Customers and Employees in a significant way that is unacceptable.

And our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning.
We’re working with Safety at the forefront to urgently address wide-scale disruption by rebalancing the airline and repositioning Crews and our fleet ultimately to best serve all who plan to travel with us.
We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S. This forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams use to recover the airline operating at capacity.
This safety-first work is intentional, ongoing, and necessary to return to normal reliability, one that minimizes last-minute inconveniences. We anticipate additional changes with an already reduced level of flights as we approach the coming New Year holiday travel period. And we’re working to reach to Customers whose travel plans will change with specific information and their available options.
Our Employees and Crews scheduled to work this holiday season are showing up in every single way. We are beyond grateful for that. Our shared goal is to take care of every single Customer with the Hospitality and Heart for which we’re known.
On the other side of this, we’ll work to make things right for those we’ve let down, including our Employees.
With no concern higher than ultimate Safety, the People of Southwest share a goal to take care of each and every Customer. We recognize falling short and sincerely apologize.
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