Travelers search through mountains of luggage at the baggage claim at  Chicago Midway International Airport on Dec. 26, 2022, in Chicago.

Travelers search via mountains of bags on the baggage declare at Chicago Midway International Airport on Dec. 26, 2022, in Chicago.
Photo: Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times (AP)

Southwest Airlines has cancelled over 2,400 flights for Tuesday, roughly 61% of its complete schedule, in keeping with the most recent figures from FlightAware. The unhealthy information comes after Southwest cancelled over 2,900 flights on Monday, and this could possibly be just the start for the airline’s woes, with a number of studies noting Southwest doesn’t count on to renew a standard schedule till December 31.

Southwest administration advised the Wall Street Journal it was “rebalancing the airline,” and insisted it was “full staffed” within the lead as much as this previous weekend, which included Christmas. The airline recommended the fault was unhealthy climate, however didn’t publicly clarify why it was the airline with probably the most cancellations.

“We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent,” Southwest advised the Journal.

Crew members who known as to get rescheduled for cancelled flights overloaded Southwest’s cellphone system, in keeping with a number of sources online. Southwest merely didn’t have sufficient employees to reply the telephones and rebook each pilots and flight attendants because the cancellations snowballed throughout the nation.

The horror tales on social media are frankly too numerous to rely at this level, as can be anticipated with so many cancellations over a busy vacation interval.

An inside firm memo purporting to be from December 21 has additionally been leaked to social media claiming too many Southwest staff have known as in sick over the vacations. Gizmodo couldn’t instantly confirm the authenticity of the memo, and whereas Southwest administration in Denver has reportedly demanded that staff who’ve known as out sick get a health care provider’s be aware in particular person, closely suggesting they assume persons are abusing the system, it’s totally doable that most people who’re absent from work are literally in poor health.

While many individuals have spent 2022 attempting to faux the covid-19 pandemic is over, the U.S. remains to be averaging over 60,000 new circumstances of the illness per day, in keeping with the New York Times. The U.S. is at the moment averaging about 322 deaths from covid-19 per day, the demise toll equal of a 9/11 terrorist assault each ten days.

And it’s not simply covid-19. There are plenty of respiratory sicknesses which have seen a resurgence this winter, together with the flu and RSV. And there’s severe concern that strep A infections are spreading rapidly in Europe.

The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a press release Monday night time expressing concern about Southwest’s “unacceptable rate of cancellations.”

“The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan,” the federal company defined on Twitter.

Southwest has waived charges for rebooking between now and January 2, however good luck really getting a flight on the airline, given the chaos that’s unfolded.

“Customers holding any Southwest reservation from Sunday, December 25 through Monday, January 2, may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with our accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge,” the airline says on its website.

If you’re flying Southwest this week, good luck.

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