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Southwest Airlines schedule stabilizes after holiday meltdown but costs are still piling up

Southwest Airlines stabilized its schedule over the weekend after about 16,000 cancellations, but its systemwide holiday meltdown could cost it hundreds of millions of dollars. Southwest canceled 304 flights since Friday, 2% of its schedule, most of them on Monday when U.S. airlines faced bad weather and ground stops in Florida tied to a Federal Aviation Administration equipment outage. ( More...

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David Beattie 6
SWA has had a great record for 50 years. I’ve always enjoyed flying on them. They need to catch up on technology. The paper napkin ATIS and manual computation of weight and balance in the jetway were cute and clever when they were small but they are in the big leagues now.
Alan Dahl 1
Interesting, I can't stand them. First of all when traveling with family their boarding system stresses my wife out as she doesn't know what seat she will get (she prefers window seats) and is afraid that we won't get seats together. But the big issue is their customer service when things go south as we've found out this year. In our case a weather cancellation left us stranded at MKE. They had inadequate staff with only a couple of gate agents and no ticket agents at the main counter, just folks that took in baggage. As a result they needed to pull ramp workers into the terminal to handle the crush of upset passengers and they were rude at best. Eventually after 2 1/2 hours of complaining I finally got to talk to a real gate agent who "found" seats for us on the next day's flight. We lost a full day at our destination and had to pay $$$ for the last hotel room (there was a huge concert in town) and an extremely overpriced rental car (also one of the last ones left). Milwaukee was nice enough so that was good but it was such a stressful experience I've sworn them off and we will stick with Alaska and Delta from now on as they have much, much better customer service.
You can pay a small amount extra to get boarding in A group. I have been flying SWest for 20+ years and have had only one problem. The problem was weather-related and there was nothing that they could do about that. People were screaming at the desk agent . . . she thanked me for my behavior. People can be very rude. I love that they allow 2 free bags.
hwh888 6
I can't blame ANY paying passenger for not being upset at the situation they were in. SWA knew they had a outdated (1991 vintage) crew routing software and just didn't address it...... until the weather proved to them you better wake up and pay attention.
Bill Overdue 4
It kind of makes you wonder what the hell they did with the $7B during the Covid fiasco?
Dale Ballok 3
Just another case of a business being reactive, instead of proactive! “If it I ain’t broke, why fix it”?
Perry Ramsey 3
Southwest management has acknowledged that they have a serious problem. That's nice, but recognizing that you have a problem is only the first step. Given their current situation, they could melt down again at any moment. Next time they melt down I don't want to be holding one of their tickets.

After several years of preferring Southwest for personal and business travel, I'm going to be choosing away from Southwest until there is some sort of confirmation that they have fixed their crew scheduling system. The only way to be sure will be for them to get through a future winter storm doing no worse than anyone else.
Dale Ballok 3
The problem is they were “forced” to admit they had a problem!
sparkie624 3
Good for them... They need to pay a very heavy price for their screw ups... I have worked for them, but when I recognized their Hostile Environment and asking employees to do unsafe tasks... They deserve what they get. I will never again fly on one of their planes after being a Mechanic with them and seeing the unsafe maintenance practices.
EMK69 4
Couldn't the same be said for most airlines? American? Delta? The list goes on and on over the years where fatalities occurred due to maintenance errors/issues. I gave you a thumbs up since you worked for them, but it seems to me all major Airlines have had screw-ups over the years at least this one didn't involve a fatality.
Dale Ballok 2
Time for a Union!
Seems like you had a duty to REPORT these unsafe practices to 'someone'?????
Dale Ballok 1
Wouldn’t happen if they had a Union. Unfair wages and benefits is one thing, but unsafe working conditions is where you draw the line!
rastapoodle 2
As a loyal WN customer for business and personal travel from the time they 1st started flying into BWI, I really missed them when we moved to SC, just south of CLT. Although WN never said BWI was a hub, I can only remember 2 times in 20+years that I had to change flights to get to a destination. I could fly non-stop to SAN, LAX, anywhere in FL and everywhere in between. Their flexibility in changing and canceling flights when I need to was a wonderful.
Now, AA is the only game in town for CLT and I have had nothing but problems using that carrier. Notably, I’m retired and no longer fly for work (don’t miss that at all) but I have started booking flights on DL rather than take a non-stop or direct AA because of the customer service. And several of my flights were business/first class.
I sure hope WN will get their act together AND survive.
EMK69 2
Costs are always going to mount up over this situation. Not surprising and now the welfare types will come out of the woodwork demanding even more money. People won't be happy till they squeeze every dime out of SWA. I saw some of the passengers on the National News most of them looked like "L" one of them screaming she wanted to be reimbursed for the baby formula since she had to buy extra while stuck in Baltimore. I'm surprised she hasn't consulted with a lawyer at this stage of the game. I'm surprised the legal firm of Sue, Sue and Sue haven't started a commercial on TV similar to the idiot firms over Camp Lejeune.
Mike Mohle 5
I have the name: "Karen, Karen & Karen".
Jon Amato 5
My firm is Dewey, Cheatam & Howe. They’re also great come tax time😂
David Purtz 1
And the passenger folks the "media" interview are such global experts on running an airline while paying minimal $$'s for their coach class tickets but demanding La Premiere (Air France) treatment...
James Patterson 3
I just checked - LA to NYC roundtrip on American for $318 nonstop. SWA is the same price with 2 stops (and the resulting potential for mayhem). I dunno, with roundtrip coast-to-coast tickets for that cheap, and people complain when it goes badly? It's still better than taking the bus. Barely.
Dale Ballok 2
But, you’re eliminating the possible delays/cancellations for weather or mechanical issues. That affects any flight, be it with connections or direct.
Dravin Mills 1
I will always fly with southwest airlines it's not the airlines fault with all the commotion with lost luggages and strange passengers
aurodoc 1
I have flown on SW since the 1980s traveling back and forth between PHX ( The old brick Terminal 1) and San Antonio usually with a less than 15 minute stop in El Paso. My neighbor was a captain and I flew in the jump seat on 1 occasion when he was my pilot. Things are a lot different now and maybe seat assignments and more hub and spoke service is something they need to consider along with getting a modern scheduling system. Paper and pencil worked 40 years ago when SW was tiny and served the southwest only. It is a huge airline today that should have updates their technology years ago.
great wildblueyonder 0
Southwest ought to be renamed "SOUTHJEST"


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