U.S. News

Thousands stranded and bags lost as Southwest scraps or delays more than 80% of its flights

Tens of hundreds of passengers have been plunged into chaos after beleaguered Southwest Airlines canceled swathes of flights throughout the nation.

Desperate passengers had been compelled to sleep in terminals surrounded by rising mounds of baggage after being stranded at airports when the airline canceled over 80 % of its flight schedule – inflicting President Biden to weigh in.

Southwest barred passengers from rebooking blundered flights after saying that they’re solely working 1,500 journeys a day till Friday, leaving many separated from family members throughout the festive season.

Distressed vacationers – some of which won’t be able to return dwelling for almost every week – bemoaned the frantic scenes in airport terminals as Biden’s Administration vowed to ‘guarantee airways are held accountable’ for the disarray attributable to Southwest. 

Airport workers and an individual walks round a pile of lost suitcases close to the bags carousel at Midway Airport in Chicago, on Tuesday

Passengers have been stranded for days in the terminal at La Guardia Airport. Thousands of bags are piled up due to the storm and Southwest Airlines' cancellations

Passengers have been stranded for days within the terminal at La Guardia Airport. Thousands of bags are piled up as a result of storm and Southwest Airlines’ cancellations 

Stacks of lost bags piled up at the New York City airport on Tuesday afternoon

Stacks of lost bags piled up on the New York City airport on Tuesday afternoon

The airline has already canceled 63 % of right now’s flights – as properly as 61 % of tomorrow’s – leaving tens of hundreds of individuals within the lurch as the brand new year approaches.

And the faltering airline stalled permitting passengers to rebook flights, and one disgruntled traveler informed DailyMail.com they’re solely allowed to obtain ‘credit score’ for his or her canceled journey. 

Furious Molly Braun informed DailyMail.com: ‘My boyfriend dropped my brother off at [Dallas] Love Field and he came upon by checking the web site that my brother’s 10:45am flight (to Chicago and connecting to Cincinnati) was cancelled.

‘Southwest by no means proactively informed us. They had no choices to reschedule till Thursday, 12/29. And they gained’t even refund my brother. They simply stated they may save his airfare as a credit score for subsequent time.’ 

Passengers at LaGuardia airport in New York lay on the ground as they wait for a flight

Passengers at LaGuardia airport in New York lay on the bottom as they look ahead to a flight 

Baggage at LaGuardia airport was neatly lined up as plenty of bags wait for customers to pick them up on Tuesday after the swathe of cancelations

Baggage at LaGuardia airport was neatly lined up as a lot of bags wait for patrons to select them up on Tuesday after the swathe of cancelations 

 Southwest canceled over 70 % of its flight schedule on Monday. It has already canceled 63 % right now, 61 % tomorrow, and 12 % on Friday – almost 5,650 flights – after it stalled permitting passengers to guide or rebook flights

Braun managed to guide her brother a separate flight for $150 more for Tuesday night, however stated she bought no assist from Southwest – saying she was on maintain for 2 and a half hours to no avail.

Thomas Martin from Kansas City has been stranded at LaGuardia since Christmas Eve and informed DailyMail.com that he is now determined to take Amtrak for $1800 to get dwelling after Southwest’s immense blunder.

The Texas-based airways is at the moment not letting passengers guide or rebook flights – forcing vacationers to purchase massively overpriced, last-minute tickets on different airways. 

Some are even touring dwelling with out their baggage and different airports have miles of disorganized baggage which were there since Christmas – with no workers obtainable to assist with the mounting frenzy.

Biden has additionally reminded prospects they might be eligible for compensation via Southwest for not meeting the Department of Transportations’ requirements – which was set after the summer season chaos, which noticed comparable outcomes to this weekend. 

Southwest has arrange a portal for patrons to request a refund after irate prospects took to Twitter to complain in regards to the hours lengthy traces on the airport and be disconnected by way of telephone. 

But some nonetheless say that they are solely provided credit score, fairly than money again. 

Of the almost 3,000 flights canceled right now, Southwest made up 2,566 of them, canceling 60 % more flights than the following main main airways, United and JetBlue, which solely canceled two % of its flights right now. American Airlines has canceled zero % right now.   

Thomas Martin (right) from Kansas City has been stranded at LaGuardia since Christmas Eve and have now decided to take Amtrak for $1800 to get home

Thomas Martin (proper) from Kansas City has been stranded at LaGuardia since Christmas Eve and have now determined to take Amtrak for $1800 to get dwelling

Passengers were forced to sleep on the floor at a Chicago airport after the flights were closed

Passengers had been compelled to sleep on the ground at a Chicago airport after the flights had been closed

Dazed and confused passengers try and find their luggage following the immense issues with Southwest and their flights

Dazed and confused passengers strive and discover their baggage following the immense points with Southwest and their flights 

Hope you didn't check a bag! A Los Angeles airport (pictured) and several others have a sea of baggage back-up, leaving angry passengers to sort through hundreds to find theirs

Hope you did not verify a bag! A Los Angeles airport (pictured) and a number of others have a sea of baggage back-up, leaving offended passengers to type via a whole lot to search out theirs 

President Joe Biden said airlines will be held 'accountable' for the travel disruptions and passengers may be eligible for compensation

President Joe Biden stated airways shall be held ‘accountable’ for the journey disruptions and passengers could also be eligible for compensation 

Some passengers have already been informed they will not get a flight out for six days and others are stranded in airports and are unable to lease a automobile dwelling and with no assist from Southwest workers. 

Southwest passenger Kara Dyrek informed Good Morning America: ‘They stated: “No one is getting on a Southwest flight for four days and we can’t help you go home.”‘

Southwest additionally plans to ‘zero-out stock, making it so individuals cannot purchase or rebook onto flights that will finally be canceled,’ it has been reported.

‘Zeroing stock signifies that customer support brokers gained’t be capable of rebook passengers onto new flights for a couple of days, till the community is partially mounted and cancellations are finalized,’ Slotnick wrote on Twitter. 

One passenger stated they needed to rebook on a first-class ticket on a separate airline to make it dwelling and their baggage continues to be tied up with Southwest, together with their medicines. 

Desperate passengers were forced to sleep in terminals surrounded by growing mounds of luggage after being stranded at airports when the airline canceled over 70 percent of its flight schedule - causing President Biden to weigh in

Desperate passengers had been compelled to sleep in terminals surrounded by rising mounds of baggage after being stranded at airports when the airline canceled over 70 % of its flight schedule – inflicting President Biden to weigh in

They said:

They stated: “No one is getting on a Southwest flight for four days and we can’t help you go home,”‘ Southwest passenger Kara Dyrek (pictured) stated 

Airport staff looks around a pile of lost suitcases near the baggage carousel at Midway Airport in Chicago

Airport workers seems to be round a pile of lost suitcases close to the bags carousel at Midway Airport in Chicago

‘Stop blaming the WEATHER!’ Grey DeLisle wrote on Twitter. ‘Had to purchase a first-class ticket on one other airline, but it surely TOOK OFF ON TIME! You have our baggage with medicine inside! Can’t get via the telephone! Holding for hours since Christmas Eve solely to be disconnected. Dad missed Xmas!’ 

Plenty of images of overcrowded baggage declare carousals have popped up on the web, displaying a whole lot of bags going unclaimed and many passengers saying Southwest has not designated somebody to assist prospects type via the mounds of baggage. 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has opened an investigation into the airline to look into its high-volume cancelations, saying it was ‘involved by Southwest Airlines’ disproportionate and unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays.’ 

‘As more info turns into obtainable the Department will intently study whether or not cancellations had been controllable and whether or not Southwest is complying with its customer support plan as properly as all different pertinent DOT guidelines,’ the federal government company stated in a press release. 

Southwest has chartered buses for some passengers to get some locations, together with one from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Nashville, Tennessee – a journey of 500 miles. 

In addition, customer support traces on the airport are as much as ‘5’ hours lengthy and some are being informed there’s nothing they will do.  

Many passengers are forced to stay at the airports as many hotels are booked full and rental cars are unavailable

Many passengers are compelled to remain on the airports as many resorts are booked full and rental vehicles are unavailable

The backlog of baggage is also atrocious as hundreds of bags wait to be picked up

The backlog of baggage can also be atrocious as a whole lot of bags wait to be picked up 

Plenty of families wait around hoping for a miracle while other try to get on other airlines

Plenty of households wait round hoping for a miracle whereas different attempt to get on different airways 

‘It’s a four- to five-hour line…earlier than they will get us on a flight – if they will get us on a flight,’ Michael Bauzon, who’s touring along with his household from Orlando to Indianapolis informed CBS News.

‘It’s been hell,’ one other Southwest passenger Denzil Smother informed CBS News.  

In more dangerous information for Southwest passengers, these with New Year flight plans might face one other nightmare.  

‘We anticipate extra adjustments with an already decreased stage of flights as we strategy the approaching New Year vacation journey interval. And we’re working to succeed in out to prospects whose journey plans will change with particular info and their obtainable choices,’ Southwest informed CBS News in a press release. 

Southwest additionally informed Good Morning America that it ‘acknowledged’ that it had ‘fallen brief and sincerely apologize.’  

‘I believe it is simply the sheer measurement of the storm, the truth that this one began west [and] swept east and impacted nearly each single one of our largest airports. That put us in a position the place we struggled to recuperate,’ Jay McVay, a spokesperson for the airline, stated. 

‘As the storm continued to brush throughout the nation, it continued to affect many of our bigger stations and so the cancellations simply compiled one after one other to 100 to 150 to 1,000,’ he stated. 

‘With these cancellations and as a end result, we find yourself with flight crews and airplanes which can be out of place and not within the cities that they have to be in to proceed to run our operations.

‘We will do every thing that we have to do to proper the challenges that we have had proper now,’ he stated, together with ‘resorts, trip help, vans…rental vehicles to strive and be sure these of us get dwelling as rapidly as attainable.’

More than 3,800 US flights had been canceled on Monday, together with 2,800 operated by Southwest. Delays had been reported for more than 7,100 US flight departures and arrivals total. 

On Christmas Day, the operator canceled 42 % of its flights, a complete of 1,635.  

One traveler took her frustrations out over Twitter, writing that she had received any notifications from the airline and had suffered through two days of cancelations

One traveler took her frustrations out over Twitter, writing that she had obtained any notifications from the airline and had suffered via two days of cancelations 

Southwest Airline flights at Hollywood Burbank, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, and San Diego Airport have just about all been canceled, in accordance with reviews. 

It is anticipated that the disruption might proceed into the New Year vacation journey interval on the finish of this week, with some reviews suggesting that each one flights from Hollywood Burbank Airport operated by the airline are canceled till December 31.  

The quantity of cancelations and delays by Southwest was led by the acute climate, attributable to an Arctic blast coupled with a large winter storm known as Elliott sweeping over a lot of the US, and a lacked of preparedness by the airline. 

Southwest has a hub of planes in Chicago and Denver, however each of these areas had been considerably affected by the storm, which led to planes freezing.

The company's CEO told staff that it could take days to get 'back on track' as the airline struggles with staffing issues and the winter storm (pictured Buffalo, New York)

The company’s CEO informed workers that it might take days to get ‘again on monitor’ as the airline struggles with staffing points and the winter storm (pictured Buffalo, New York) 

Thousands of individuals had been left stranded contained in the airport on Friday and all of the resorts close by are absolutely booked. The runways on the airport reopened on the identical day.

Photos confirmed vacationers with blankets as they slept on chairs and different open areas. 

Many would-be passengers have taken to Twitter to share their frustration. 

One stated: ‘Two days, two cancelled flights, no notifications, no strategy to contact via internet, telephone or e-mail. Family of 4 missed San Diego vacation and household. Southwest continues responsible the climate. All different airways made it.’ 

Another added that they had been ‘praying for a miracle’ after a member of the family’s flight to her daughter’s wedding ceremony was canceled. 

And one other stated: ‘I had a six-hour drive, waited an hour for my rental automotive. Southwest I’m extremely disenchanted in you. I could be achieved with you after this.’ 

Many who’ve tried to succeed in the airline on the telephone have been ready on maintain for a number of hours within the hope of talking with a member of workers. 

One particular person tweeted: ‘I’ve been on maintain for 4 hours to strive and get a refund,’ whereas others have reported wait instances of as much as six hours on the telephone. People have additionally shared movies of lengthy traces at airports throughout the nation and pictures of mounds of baggage.

Union representatives claimed that flight attendants and different crew members are caught in numerous states throughout the US after a sequence of cancellations. 

The airline does not have their exact areas since stranded employees took issues into their very own fingers and booked their very own lodging when the company didn’t assist in a well timed method. 

‘We have crews caught, and scheduling does not know the place they’re,’ Casey Murray, a union consultant for the airways stated. 

The CEO Bob Jordan confirmed that the company’s scheduling platforms usually are not superior sufficient for the present disaster.  

Jordan informed workers earlier this week that it might take days for the airline to renew regular operations.

‘The winter storm was unprecedented all throughout our community,’ Jordan stated in a press release obtained by the Wall Street Journal. ‘And we have fallout from that — simply making an attempt to get the community again to regular.’ 

In a press release, the Dallas-based airline cited ‘consecutive days of excessive winter climate’ as the offender.

‘Challenges are impacting our prospects and workers in a big method that’s unacceptable,’ the assertion learn. 

Delta airways is the second US-based main airline with essentially the most cancellations. About 484 cancelations had been reported by the airline on Monday and a further 570 delays. 

Airports in Denver, Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas are dealing with essentially the most cancellations  and delays. 

Tens of hundreds of Americans have been affected over the previous week. Passengers have been compelled to sleep on the ground as some airports closed their runways ‘indefinitely,’ together with in Seattle-Tacoma the place a storm hit on December 23.

Back to top button