Southwest Meltdown

Tickets like this one were useful when getting to a destination but, due to a company meltdown, useless for the return flight.

Flying this holiday season has been rough to say the least. First it was the weather that caused canceling of some flights but then the unprecedented Southwest Airlines meltdown continues to strand passengers across the country.

According to, Southwest canceled 2,509 flights on Wednesday and canceled another 2,348 today. Over the last few days the airlines had canceled about 15,700 flights leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded.

At the Hollywood Burbank Airport, on Wednesday, 100 Southwest Airlines arrivals/departures were scheduled, and out of those flights 82 were canceled.

“Their system really has melted down,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in an interview with CNN on Tuesday. “From what I can tell Southwest is unable to locate even where their own crews are let alone their own passengers, let alone baggage.”

He had spoken with Southwest CEO Bob Jordan, and conveyed he expected the airlines to go “above and beyond” to take care of passengers.

The issue appears to be the airline’s outdated scheduling system that manages the scheduling of flights, crews and passengers.
“I also talked with union leadership from the pilots to flight attendants. They made it clear they have been raising the alarm about these issues in their systems for some time and this really had to do with decisions and choices in terms of the investments that this airline has made or failed to make over the years that seem to be catching up with them now,” Buttigieg said.

Southwest Airlines released a statement that included “heartfelt apologies” to their customers for the cancellations.
“We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent … 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.”

Buttigieg, during the CNN interview, pointed out that other airlines average about 5% cancellations due to the recent winter storm while Southwest was somewhere north of 70% as of Tuesday.