Controversy over flight cancellations during the storm in the US: Seven out of 10 were from one airline

Southwest Airlines passengers line up to retrieve their luggage after a canceled flight in Los Angeles (AP)

the Flight cancellations and delays Related to weather conditions that affected US commercial air traffic over the weekend that lasted through Monday, being Southwest Airlines Responsible for most of the continuous outages the day after Christmas.

According to FlightAware flight tracking service, More than 3,800 flights were canceled on Monday american airlines, 2,800 of them are operated by the Southwesthe is called, nearly 70% of the total scheduled for that day.

By Tuesday night, Southwest had canceled 2,870 flights, 70% of the flights scheduled for the day. Pictures at airports showed the huge amount of baggage piled up. By comparison, Delta canceled 8% of its flights on Monday.

In total, there were registered Delays in more than 7,100 departures and arrivals of American flights, Several hundred of them are from the southwest. According to FlightAware data, airports across the US have seen cancellations and delays, including Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, Baltimore and Chicago.

Passenger baggage from canceled flight (AP)
Passenger baggage from canceled flight (AP)

The Dallas-based airline, one of the world’s largest low-cost carriers, said it expects disruptions to continue in the days leading up to the New Year’s holiday travel period later this week.

Southwest added that the weather is improving, which should “stabilize and improve our situation.”

Other issues that have exacerbated the airline’s struggle to adjust to the holiday rush include problems with “tethering flight crews to their schedules,” Southwest spokesman Chris Perry said. NPR. This problem made it difficult for employees to access crew scheduling services and obtain reassignment.

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It was a disastrous failure on all levels. “Our operations, information technology and infrastructure were not ready to support the operation and unfortunately our customers bear the brunt of it,” said Capt. Casey Murray, President of the Southwest Pilots Association and Captain at Southwest.

Southwest Airlines passengers sit with their luggage in the check-in area due to delays and cancellations at Laguardia Airport in New York (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Southwest Airlines passengers sit with their luggage in the check-in area due to delays and cancellations at Laguardia Airport in New York (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

the US Department of Transportation It said late Monday that it would examine the large number of canceled and delayed flights in recent days from Southwest Airlines to determine whether it was under the airline’s control, calling it “Unacceptable“.

Auckland resident Harriet Kingsbury commented: “It’s never been this crowded, it’s crazy.” After a delay of four hours, Kingsbury was able to return to Auckland. She was one of the lucky ones. “It’s a complete messsaid Mike Bolen, a Napa Valley resident.

Commercial air traffic has been disrupted since last week, when an Arctic storm coupled with a massive winter storm named Elliott formed over the Midwest and ravaged much of the United States on Christmas Eve weekend.

The consequent increase in cancellations, delays, long waiting lines and lost baggage at airports, Ruined the winter vacation plans of countless clients For US airlines during one of the busiest times of the year for passengers.

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The storm coincides with a report from the Transportation Security Administration that says the volume of holiday travel was near pre-pandemic levels, and was busiest on Thursday, three days before Christmas.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has estimated that more than 112 million people will travel more than 80 kilometers between last Friday and January 2, the vast majority by car.

(With information from Reuters, Associated Press, AFP)

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