By Wednesday afternoon, roughly 3,200 flights had been delayed and over 2,800 had been canceled.
Over 2,500 flights were cancelled by Southwest Airlines, one of the hardest hit airlines.
Thousands of frustrated passengers are now sleeping at terminals as they look for answers due to the mess.
According to flight tracking company FlightAware, more than 2,300 aircraft that were planned to depart on Thursday have already been canceled.
Southwest CEO Bob Jordan expressed his company’s “true regret” to everyone who was unable to travel due to the cancellations in a late-night video apology.
The airline, which claims to be the biggest in the US, canceled the flights, according to Mr. Jordan, in order to make up for “record extreme cold presented issues for all airlines.”
We need to put a serious effort into making this right, he said. We’re committed to that, I want you to know.
The airline has put the cancellations down to the terrible weather that has affected most of the US and its effects, as well as difficulties in providing personnel with access to the most recent itineraries.
The issues have been attributed to a variety of factors, including a lack of workers and antiquated computer systems that failed to match crews with planes as cancellations began to mount.
Southwest’s CEO reported on Tuesday that he had contacted Pete Buttigieg, the US Transportation Secretary, to inquire about the situation.
Southwest’s “unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays” alarmed the US Department of Transportation (DOT), and Mr. Buttigieg promised on Tuesday to hold the airline accountable.
He revealed to many news organizations that he had requested Southwest to automatically give travelers who had their flights canceled coupons for hotel stays and other expenses.
According to Mr. Buttigieg’s account to CNN, Mr. Jordan assured him that the airline would comply, and the agency would “monitor to make sure that they follow through.”
President of the United States Joe Biden stated in a tweet on Tuesday that his administration is “working to ensure airlines are held accountable” for delays. He advised travelers to find out if they qualify for compensation.
The head of the US Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Maria Cantwell, announced that the panel will “be looking into the origins of these disruptions and its impact on consumers.”
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Southwest stated on its website that it will honor “reasonable requests” for travelers who had flight cancellations or delays between 24 December and 2 January to get reimbursement for meals, lodging, and substitute transportation.
Numerous passengers have been left waiting at airports across the nation as they try to rebook flights or find other forms of transportation due to the ongoing aircraft cancellations and delays. Passengers in cities including Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., reported standing in line for customer support agents for hours.
Talia Jones, a Southwest passenger, told BBC US partner CBS that she was “beyond furious and hurt” because flight delays prevented her from spending the holidays with her father.
It’s quite disappointing, said Ms. Jones.
Many baggage were awaiting pickup at Chicago’s Midway Airport, where Southwest is the main airline. Images posted on social media by irate travelers showed a lot of suitcases stacked or lined up next to baggage carousels.
Denzil Smothers, whose flight was canceled, told CBS that it had been “hell.”
On the assumption that room is available, most airlines will rebook passengers on the subsequent aircraft to the passenger’s destination, according to the DOT website. Even if they purchased non-refundable tickets, passengers are still entitled to a full refund if they decide to completely cancel their trip.
Major North American airlines, including as American, Delta, and Southwest, have waived change fees for travelers who rebook during the