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Southwest Airlines faces another day of mass cancelations, delays

close video Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan on the state of the airline amid winter cancelations

Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan speaks on the state of the airline amid thousands of flight cancelations over the past week.

Southwest Airlines is facing another day of temple-throbbing cancelations and delays, with tracker FlightAware showing thousands within, into our out of the U.S. on Thursday morning. 

On the Texas-based airline, the website said that 58%, or more than 2,350 flights, had been canceled and 56 had been delayed. 

In an email to Fox Business on Thursday. Southwest Airlines said that it is flying "roughly one-third" of its schedule through Thursday, as of now. 

"We have no updates or adjustments to share regarding Friday's schedule," a spokesperson said.

"The Southwest team is working to accommodate customers on available flights as soon as possible, and we apologize for the inconvenience to our customers," the airline wrote.


Canceled Southwest Airlines flights are seen in red on the flight schedules at the Southwest terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport, on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. The U.S. Department of Transportation says it will look into flight cancelation ((AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) / AP Newsroom)

In an update on Wednesday evening, the airline apologized again for the widespread travel disruptions – to both passengers and workers – and announced new resources for fliers experiencing these holiday woes. 

Southwest told Fox Business that a travel advisory is still in effect to offer customers "maximum flexibility" with rebooking and that it is continuing to work to reunite travelers with their bags.

"We’ve let our customers and employees down, and we pledge to do everything we can to make it right," a tweet said. 

Southwest had explained on Tuesday that it was recovering from operational challenges following consecutive days of extreme winter weather and CEO Bob Jordan said the airline was doing everything possible to return to normal operation. 

In a video address, Jordan said that airplanes and flight crews had been out of position as Southwest contended with a busy holiday weekend, leading to the decision to "significantly reduce [Southwest's] flying." 

Hundreds of Southwest Airlines checked bags are piled at baggage claim at Midway International Airport as Southwest continues to cancel thousands of flights across the country Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Chicago. ((AP Photo/Erin Hooley) / AP Newsroom)

"We're focused on safely getting all of the pieces back into position to end this rolling struggle," Jordan asserted, voicing his pride and respect for his employees. 

"The tools we use to recover from disruption serve us well 99% of the time, but clearly we need to double down on our already existing plans to upgrade systems for these extreme circumstances, so that we never again face what's happening right now," he added. 

A Southwest Airlines jet arrives at Sky Harbor International Airport, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Phoenix. Travelers who counted on Southwest Airlines to get them home suffered another wave of canceled flights Wednesday, and pressure grew on the fed ((AP Photo/Matt York) / AP Newsroom)

The New York Times reported Thursday that Southwest relies on a different organizational structure than most other airlines and had scheduling issues.


Jordan said that he was in contact with U.S. Department of Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, sharing what the airline was doing to "make things right" for customers – and a Southwest statement the same day said for employees – and that he was optimistic that Southwest would be back on track before next week.

Rebekah Isaak of Chicago smiles as she learns her bags may have returned to Chicago from Denver as she searches amongst hundreds of other Southwest Airlines checked bags at baggage claim at Midway International Airport as Southwest continues to cance ((AP Photo/Erin Hooley) / AP Newsroom)

The Transportation Department had tweeted on Monday that it was concerned by the disruption and would look into whether "cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan."

"Because what we’re seeing right now, from the system and the flights themselves to the inability to reach anybody on a customer service phone line, it is just completely unacceptable," Buttigieg told CBS on Wednesday, noting to ABC that the department would "mount an extraordinary effort" to ensure the airline would meet obligations.

A ground operations crew member walks past a Southwest Airlines jet sitting idly at a gate, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. ((AP Photo/Matt York) / AP Newsroom)

More than 91% of all canceled flights in the U.S. early that day were from Southwest, per FlightAware.

Speaking on Fox Business Network's "Mornings with Maria," Captain Michael Santoro – the Vice President of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association – said Thursday that scheduling software had "basically crashed" and the problem "snowballed from there."

A pilot rides an escalator down to the baggage claim area inside the Southwest Airlines terminal at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in St. Louis. ((AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) / AP Newsroom)


He said, on Wednesday, the airline's leader saw a "significant improvement," with hopes to be "fully recovered" over the weekend – but that no one has reached out regarding a recovery plan.

"So, it's incredibly frustrating for us," he noted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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