Travelers were frustrated by the cancellations of more than 2,000 Southwest flights this weekend.
“I don’t want just future Southwest credits like I want my money back,” traveler Allison Cavanaugh said.
Allison Cavanaugh reports that her trip was extended for two days after two separate cancellations on Saturday and Sunday.
“I asked the hotel lady if the people at the hotel were mostly Southwest people who have gotten their flights canceled, and she said like the whole hotel was.”
She claims she tried again, but switched to another airline. However, she still missed one day of work.
“I had to find people to cover for me, and then they have to get COVID tested to be able to work for me, and I had to reschedule my COVID testing so I could go to work on Tuesday,” Cavanaugh said. “So it’s not just a slight cancellation of getting home later. There’s a trickle effect.”
In a statement, Saturday — and again on MondaySouthwest Airlines blamed the cancellations on weather-related issues and air traffic control problems.
Experts believe that the issues were not sufficient to cause mass cancellations of other airlines. However, there may have been more factors. Daniel Burnham is a Senior Product Operations Specialist with flight email alert service Scott’s Cheap Flights.
“I’m inclined to think that this is more tied to staffing shortages and the difficulty of rehiring the very skilled workforce when a lot of people might have left the industry, and you know, you can’t train those people up very quickly,” Burnham said.
He said he has seen similar regional meltdowns in the past summer.
JetBlue Unspecified reasons caused hundreds of cancellations on September flights Spirit AirlinesMany cancellations occurred in August due to staff shortages. Southwest was the most affected airline this weekend.
“When you start having a minor delay these days because of the limited capacity of employees, you know, you may not have as many additional planes and your slack in the system,” Burnham said. It’s hard to recover. So something like this, if it happened in 2019, it wouldn’t have been as severe as it is. It’s difficult for them to dig themselves up from that initial delay.”
Southwest claims it will recover in the next few days.
Experts in travel say that cancellations and delays are possible during peak season and holidays.
Burnham suggests checking your flight status regularly and giving yourself a few extra days to get to your destination.