LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Passengers across the country are scrambling to make alternate plans, stranded by thousands of canceled flights on Southwest Airlines. Nearly every Southwest departure out of Louisville the past two days has been canceled, according to information from airport officials and the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport website.
Kimberly Wolford was supposed to fly home from Louisville Tuesday on Southwest Airlines. “They texted me like five times last night that my flight was canceled, so I’ve been on the phone for three, four hours last night and two hours this morning, trying to get hold of customer services, but no answer,” said Wolford Tuesday afternoon. “I was online, on the app, everything, nothing, so I came here.”
The airline told her she can’t fly back to San Francisco for another six days and gave her a $200 voucher, said Wolford, who was considering getting a refund online and booking on another airline.
Southwest canceled more than 70% of its flights across the country on Monday, and more than 60% on Tuesday.
The airline apologized in a statement, saying in part:
“With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our customers and employees in a significant way that is unacceptable.”
“I think it’s crazy,” said Wolford. “I think it’s insane. They need to do something about this, like so many people are losing time off work.”
Wolford was due back at work on Wednesday. “My boss is going to kill me,” she told Spectrum News 1.
Sara Cowan’s flight to Baltimore was not scheduled to take off until Friday, but she didn’t want to risk it and got a voucher Tuesday morning instead, she said.
“I was going to BWI to go to D.C.,” said Cowan. “I was just like, I’m not taking a chance of being stuck and have to pay a higher price ticket to come back home.”
Louisville airport officials said travelers should monitor the status of their flights and contact the airline directly.
In a statement on Twitter Tuesday evening, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Secretary Pete Buttigieg “spoke with union leaders and the CEO of Southwest Airlines to convey the Department’s expectation that Southwest meet its obligations to passengers and workers and take steps to prevent a situation like this from happening again.”