LINTHICUM, Md. — Thousands of Southwest Airlines passengers were stranded nationwide this weekend, after the airline canceled nearly 2,000 flights in two days.
The hardest-hit airports most affected by the cancelations were Denver, Dallas, Phoenix and right here in Baltimore at BWI.
There were nearly three dozen Southwest arrivals and departures still showing as canceled Monday morning. Several flights had new departure times, while 19 departures and 15 arrivals were listed as canceled.
Anyone traveling should double check online with Southwest to see if they can rebook their flight before heading down to the airport.
Many people who have off for the holiday might have had plans to travel somewhere to enjoy the three-day weekend but thousands of passengers flying Southwest faced a change of plans.
Southwest Airlines apologized to those frustrated passengers after it canceled 1,800 flights over the weekend.
Airline officials blamed weather and air traffic control issues but other airlines did not experience the same disruptions.
Southwest initially blamed bad weather and air traffic control, but the FAA said there had been no major air traffic control issues since Friday.
One Southwest official apologized to employees in a memo to staff late Sunday by writing “I’m sorry for the struggles that you and our customers are experiencing, once again."
Jason Spivey was one of those stranded passengers at BWI on Monday. Spivey was supposed to be traveling on business but his flight ended up getting canceled. He didn’t find out his flight was canceled until he received a text message from Southwest Airlines, five minutes before he got dropped off at the airport.
“It took a minute to get in and there were tremendous lines and when I finally got up to the desk here they did confirm it was canceled going to Dallas. Unfortunately, I can't get rescheduled until Wednesday,” Spivey said.
"It's frustrating. Especially when you wake up super early to get to the airport, get here and find out, not only can you not fly out today, that it's canceled and that you have to delay a few more days. And you have to get somebody to pick you up, and then bring you back again on the next day. If they could have squeezed me in on a flight later today, it would have been fine, but having to wait until Wednesday to fly out is just terrible,” Spivey added.
According to the website FlightAware, the Southwest cancellations on Sunday were about 30 percent of the airline's schedule.
Meanwhile other airlines including Allegiant, American and Spirit also had canceled flights but not as many as Southwest.
It was just a week ago on October 4th that Southwest Airlines announced its employees had to be vaccinated for Covid by December 8th or face losing their jobs. The Southwest pilots union asked for a temporary court injunction.
However, union leaders said they were not responsible for the weekend's delays out of protest. The SWAPA union website stated “SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.”