Southwest Airlines cancels hundreds of flights, disturbing some vacation travelers


Christmas Day flight delays and cancellations at Chicago airports

Christmas Day flight delays and cancellations at Chicago airports 02:37

After thousands of U.S. flights were canceled or delayed during the 2022 holidays, most vacation travelers this year They have had a happier start this Christmas. But on Christmas Day some sticking points were emerging.

About 135 flights to, from or within the U.S. had been canceled as of 11:30 a.m. ET, while just over 1,100 were delayed, according to the tracking service. Flight reported.

Airlines had canceled just 1.2% of U.S. flights so far this year through Dec. 22, the lowest figure in five years. Nearly 3 million passengers They were expected to pass through domestic airports during the busy holiday period, up 16% from 2022.

Southwest flights canceled

Not everyone was so lucky. Some passengers at Chicago Midway International Airport this Christmas Eve were stranded on Christmas Eve, according to CBS News Chicago, and the US airline most affected during the holiday period last year, Southwest Airlines, experienced problems again. Southwest attributed the delays to fog in Chicago, but passengers also told CBS2 that a worker shortage was a factor.

Those issues also affected passengers at Denver International Airport, with Southwest canceling 293 flights on Sunday, while nearly 1,300 trips were delayed, FlightAware data sample.

“We had heavy fog in Chicago that forced us to halt our operations last night and this morning,” said Chris Mainz, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines. told CBS News Colorado.

On Monday morning, Southwest canceled 101 flights, or 2% of its daily travel, while 397 flights were delayed, FlightAware data showed. By comparison, Delta and United Airlines canceled five flights.

“You guys ruined my Christmas two years in a row,” one person said. aware Friday X.

Meanwhile, a winter storm in the Northern Plains is bringing snow, ice and more risky road conditions Monday to the region stretching from northern Kansas to Nebraska, the Dakotas and parts of Minnesotahe Weather channel reported.

Blizzard causes dangerous travel, heavy snow and wind on northern plains 00:41

Southwest earlier this month agreed to a $140 million deal with the federal government over last year's chaos that left more than 2 million travelers stranded during the holidays. Southwest previously agreed to pay more than $600 million in refunds and refunds to customers.

“This is a message to the entire airline industry: you must take care of passengers, or we will use all our authority to hold you accountable,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted on December 18.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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