Southwest hopes to have schedule fixed by Friday after 2,300 flights get canceled

Winter Weather Travel Chicago
Ashlyn Harmon of New Orleans searches for her Southwest Airlines bags amongst hundreds of others at Midway International Airport as Southwest continues to cancel thousands of flights across the country Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Chicago. Harmon said her family’s initial Southwest flight was cancelled on Christmas so they rebooked on American Airlines, although Southwest still shipped their bags to Midway. “We rebooked ourselves,” she said. “I figure we can deal with refunds and all of that when we get back.” She was searching for her own bag, which contains medication for her young son. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley) Erin Hooley/AP

Southwest hopes to have schedule fixed by Friday after 2,300 flights get canceled

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Southwest Airlines announced that it’s looking to fix its flight schedule by Friday after it canceled over 15,000 flights this week and 2,300 on Thursday.

The airline has only canceled 39 flights for Friday so far, according to data from FlightAware, a flight tracking website. The number is down significantly from the cancellations on Thursday and the 2,500 cancellations on Wednesday.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES MASS CANCELLATIONS PARTLY CAUSED BY OUTDATED SOFTWARE

“Right now it looks like a pretty smooth operation as we head into this transition tomorrow to allow us to resume operations on Friday at our normal schedule, which is a big step up,” said Southwest Chief Operating Officer Andrew Watterson in a Wednesday message to employees that was obtained by the Dallas Morning News.

The cancellations were a result of a scheduling problem brought on by the major winter storm that left thousands of passengers stranded during the holiday season in Denver and Chicago. The cancellations were also partly because of outdated scheduling software, according to company officials. The software is intended to track a pilot and flight attendant’s whereabouts, but it became overwhelmed and could not keep up with demand.

“A systemic failure of Southwest Airlines leaders to modernize, support, and staff its operation leaves every frontline employee, pilots included, tired of apologizing to our passengers,” said the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg condemned the failure of the airline on Wednesday and promised to reimburse stranded travelers for unexpected lodging, food, and travel expenses.

“We’ve never seen a situation, at least not on my watch, with this volume of disruptions, so this is going to take an extraordinary level of effort by Southwest. And we will mount an extraordinary effort to make sure that they’re meeting their obligations,” he said on Good Morning America.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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