‘I personally don’t have any want to do vacation journey ever once more’: Southwest Cancellations Scar Clients

Estimated read time 7 min read

Locals and others recount nightmarish adventures of misplaced luggage, delays and cancellations

What started as a nasty climate adjustment for this vacation season become a scientific breakdown for Southwest Airways, one of many nation’s largest airways. Cancellations, delays, misplaced or misplaced luggage had been rampant, and many purchasers scooped up tickets from rival airways to maintain their trip plans on observe.

Hundreds of luggage and passengers are nonetheless scrambled and stranded at airports throughout the nation. By Dec. 29, Chicago O’Hare had canceled his 35% of flights. Detroit Metro Airport has canceled his 16 flights within the final 24 hours. Grand Rapids’ Gerald R. Ford Airport has canceled six flights.

The Related Press reported Thursday that Southwest Airways hopes to return to regular operations on Friday after chopping about two-thirds of its schedule in current days.

Dave Harvey, vice chairman of Southwest Enterprise, stated in an e mail to prospects:

Evart’s Jackie Nichols lastly made it to his vacation spot, Denver, final week after being caught in Chicago for 2 days.

“We picked up our packages in Denver, and there have been two full baggage bins, and one gal was in search of them with a buyer,” says Nichols.

A household touring from Raleigh, NC to Houston had one scheduled layover. They arrived at Austin-Bergstrom Worldwide Airport with out incident.

However then “the following flight from Austin to Passion Airport in Houston was delayed an hour after which one other hour,” stated John Tedesco.

Tedesco approached the counter to ask questions, when an attendant introduced that the flight had been canceled resulting from staffing points. Everybody was instructed to queue to rebook. Practically 150 folks lined up behind him very quickly.

“I instantly pulled out my cellphone and advised[my wife]Jenn that I had booked a rental automotive earlier than the state of affairs bought worse and so they ran out of rooms,” says Tedesco.

Fortunately, Austin is only a two-hour drive from Houston. The gate agent stated not one of the subsequent three flights departing that night time had been obtainable for the household. refused the household’s request for a voucher for

After deciding to drive, they had been denied entry to their checked baggage and had been advised the bags was on their subsequent flight to Passion Airport in Houston.

“We drive up and go to the Houston airport wanting to choose up our baggage. There is a time line for the bags workplace there,” Tedesco stated.

My bag did not make it to my subsequent flight, or the one after that. They had been advised to file a report and returned within the morning to make sure the bag was on the primary flight.

It wasn’t.

The U.S. Division of Transportation requires airways to totally compensate passengers for misplaced or broken baggage. Southwest might must pay, even when the passenger is reunited with their baggage. The airline should compensate the passenger for cheap, verifiable and precise incidental prices that could be incurred whereas the passenger’s baggage is delayed.

“While you return to the passion once more the following day, your entire downstairs is roofed in a sea of ​​baggage,” stated Tedesco. “The road on the baggage checkpoint is now over two hours.”

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The terminal was stuffed with distraught folks wandering round aimlessly in search of luggage. All through the chaotic scene, Tedesco discovers that he has three luggage in three totally different sections of the bags pile.

“We’ll skip the road and go away with our baggage,” stated Tedesco.

Between requesting cancellations and refunds, selecting up packages and rescheduling flights, the household spent 4 of their 5 trip days on the airport looking for solutions.

“I began fascinated with taking 20 hours to get house. My brother Mike says he noticed 3 left the following day on Delta Airways. I purchased a ticket as quickly as potential.” Once we bought to the delta, every part was wonderful and we might lastly go house,” Tedesco stated.

In line with Southwest, climate and outdated techniques contributed to just about every week of cancellations.

“We had been staffed and prepared for the vacation weekend when many cities froze in excessive chilly, creating challenges for all airways,” Harvey stated. “As a consequence of quite a few flight cancellations, ongoing work was undertaken to rebalance and restore the 4 interconnected networks (service maps, plane, pilots and flight attendants). We have shortened our schedule to do our greatest to get our crew again to base, our plane again on observe, and our prospects and their luggage to their locations.”

Airways have launched particular websites for vacationers affected by cancellations. Passengers can test flight standing, rebook, and entry steadily requested questions.

“I personally do not wish to do trip journeys once more. I’ll by no means go to the Southwest,” Tedesco stated. “I’ll do my greatest to keep away from them sooner or later. I used to be at that airport 4 days out of that.Southwest Airways is the Grinch who stole Christmas from tens of millions of People this 12 months.”

9&10 viewers share their journey nightmares (and ideas)

“We flew house from Arizona a number of years in the past after Christmas. The schedule was modified.Then we flew to Grand Rapids.The 7 of us had been in the identical predicament.We arrived after midnight and nothing arrived.In all probability to Denver. We had been visiting my mom in Holland, Michigan for a number of days and needed to go garments buying. The bundle arrived at Tustin’s home 5 days after we landed.” – Marie Sherburne Mercier

“It was July of 1977 and I used to be touring from San Diego to Muskegon to get married. I used to be within the Navy and was going to put on a uniform. I boarded Muskegon with no baggage. Rehearsals.” I went to the church to get again to the airport, checked my suitcase and uniform, and when it arrived, I become my uniform within the automotive and bought to the church with 5 minutes to spare.” – Don Friesman

“While you board a carnival cruise enjoyable ship, they usually warn you that you just will not get your baggage again in case you do not tip them. I hope we solely had $4.00 left.I did every part I might to verify I bought my baggage.A number of unhealthy issues occurred throughout your entire cruise.By no means once more – Carrie Kearns Rosales

“Thanks Southwest Airways. I used to be on my approach house from visiting my sister in New York. She and I had been to the Virgin Islands throughout that go to. My whole checked baggage (two luggage) was in Traverse Metropolis. I used to be advised on the desk, “Seems like they’ve arrived in Detroit..” Once I spoke to a customer support consultant, they stated, “They by no means made a aircraft in New York. Drawback” . Lengthy story brief, after explaining that I already knew I used to be mendacity, I used to be advised “nicely, it isn’t our duty to verify the bundle reaches its vacation spot” . Two weeks later I bought one bag again which after all contained no presents or souvenirs. – Amy Wiggins

“I spent every week in Paris and altered planes six occasions, and since I solely used my carry-on backpack, it was no downside. In that case, there may be house for souvenirs.” – Brenda Leum

“4 years in the past my bundle was misplaced within the Southwest. It was the worst expertise. Practically $1,000 was misplaced and solely $250.00 was returned. I’ve by no means returned to them and by no means will.” I am not going to.” – Tammy Bumstead

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