Southwest Airlines again sees outsized disruptions in latest winter storm

Southwest Airlines is once again experiencing more flight delays and cancellations than other airlines as another winter storm hit the northern US disrupting air travel across the country.

According to FlightAware, Southwest Airlines leads all airlines in canceled or delayed flights, with a total of 411 as of early Wednesday. Delta Air Lines has also been badly hit with a total of 378 delayed or canceled flights. Regional carrier SkyWest Airlines has been the third hardest-hit with 295 delayed or canceled flights.

An alternative flight tracking site, Anuvu, which also measures delays and cancellations, showed that Southwest and Delta had the worst on-time departure rates at just 56% as of Wednesday morning. Delta had the highest cancellation rate at 10%, compared to Southwest’s 6%.

FlightAware shows the airport hardest hit by the storm is Minneapolis-Saint Paul, a hub for Delta also served by Southwest, with 44% of flights canceled on Wednesday. Denver International Airport, a hub for the Southwest, has also been hit hard, with 11% or 100 flights canceled and 58 flights or 6% delayed. Other airports served by Southwest affected by the storm include Detroit Metropolitan, Chicago-Midway and Salt Lake City International.

Southwest and Delta have both issued flight waivers for travelers who may be affected by this week’s storm, allowing them to rebook without paying additional fees.

Southwest is still grappling with the aftermath of a 2022 Christmas weekend winter storm meltdown that canceled at least 2 million flights by travelers and cost the airline at least $800 million. Southwest commissioned a study to determine what went wrong, but has tentatively blamed a combination of technical and procedural factors. Its COO told a recent Senate hearing that the airline’s winter weather preparation was inadequate.

Southwest did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its performance amid this week’s winter storm.

Tips for rebooking a flight

To avoid waiting in line at your airline terminal to rebook, go online immediately and start researching alternative travel options. Experts say that Google’s flight search option is the best bet for finding the most up-to-date options when it comes to finding a new flight, which can also be searched by a number of criteria, including price.

If you’re short on cash and want to rebook, you should still try calling the airline before or while you’re waiting in line with a personal rebooking agent. Note: Not all major airlines have rebooking agreements with other airlines. Those that do are: Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and United. Those that don’t are: Allegiant, Frontier, Southwest, and Spirit.

What are your rights if your flight is cancelled?

In this case, you are only entitled to a refund if you do not accept an offer to rebook on another flight. It also means you don’t have to accept an airline’s coupon offer. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation: “If an airline cancels a passenger’s flight or makes a material change to the flight, airlines must provide a prompt refund to a ticketed passenger, including those with non-refundable tickets, for any reason, if the passenger fails to meet the offered alternative, such as B. rebooking on another flight, does not accept.

Unfortunately, you have few rights if your flight is delayed or canceled for reasons beyond an airline’s control

According to the US Department of Transportation website, only factors such as maintenance or crew issues, cabin cleaning, baggage loading and refueling count as being in an airline’s control.

If your flight is delayed more than three hours or canceled for any of these reasons, you are entitled to a meal or meal voucher/voucher and, with the exception of Frontier Airlines, you are entitled to free hotel accommodation and free ground transportation to and from a hotel for an overnight cancellation situation. Click here for more.

If your flight is delayed for other reasons, e.g. B. weather, you are not entitled to any compensation or refund.


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