WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – The Senate Transportation Committee has announced plans to investigate Southwest Airlines following the cancellation of thousands of flights that have left passengers stranded in airports for days.
It’s a never ending nightmare for those flying with Southwest airlines as the company’s chaotic series of cancellations continue for yet another day. The airline has been under intense scrutiny this week for cancelling a thousands of flights.
The issue was originally due to weather but despite clear flying conditions in most parts of the country, the company has yet to recover and its impacting travelers locally. All flights out of Bradley International Airport on Southwest were cancelled Thursday besides one, a 5:20 a.m. flight Thursday morning to Baltimore.
22News spoke with a customer who flew to Connecticut from Florida on Southwest Christmas Eve.
“We were suppose to leave at 11:00 but then we ended up taking a flight at 8:00 and then we were delayed until 12:30, so we got here on Christmas day at 4:30 in the morning,” said Alexandra Dixon of Melbourne, Florida.
Luckily for Dixon, she is flying home Thursday on JetBlue. She said the day she flew out, lines behind the Southwest counters in Orlando had upwards of 50 people waiting at each counter and that the company appeared to be greatly understaffed.
“There were people who’d been waiting all day… 15 hours, It was maybe 50 to 100 people deep at each Southwest counter in the terminal I was in,” said Dixon.
The scheduling system with the airline is being referred to as outdated, and appears to be contributing to the chaos.
“In a point to point system like in Southwest, you can see a real domino effect of cancellations where if one flight gets canceled, it puts a lot of future flights that that plane and pilot and crew are supposed to operate at risk,” said Scott Keyes, Founder and Chief Flight Expert of Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Dixon says she feels sympathy for the Southwest agents in the airports trying to manage the situation and said they seemed to be ‘stretched thin.’
“They were doing a great job with it for the most part, they were waiting a lot of the time on attendants or pilots to get there,” said Dixon.
Experts say the situation could cost the airline hundreds of millions of dollars.