Guess Southwest Airlines Picked Wrong Week To Stop Sniffing Glue
2010 photo by James Lee, Creative Commons License 2.0

The awful winter storm that hit much of the country is still causing chaos for air travel, with more than 5,500 flights canceled Monday and more than 17,000 flights delayed, after the weekend's storm had already led to thousands of earlier cancellations. The situation was made far worse by one airline, Southwest, which cancelled 2,886 flights Monday — at least 70 percent of its schedule for the day. That's after cancelling nearly half its flights Sunday — and just for good measure, by late Monday, Southwest had cancelled 2,400 of its flights scheduled for today, about 60 percent of them.

Here's what Southwest's baggagefuck looked like at Denver International Sunday night, for instance:

As NPR notes, while other airlines still had delays Monday, Southwest was swimming around in a great big bowl of fuck soup:

The number of canceled flights for Southwest is more than 10 times higher than for Delta, which had the second-most cancelations by a U.S. airline with 265 flights called off. Other airlines have also ordered large-scale cancellations in the past week.

Southwest's stormfuckaganza was so much worse than the cancellations for other airlines that the US Department of Transportation said Monday night that it would investigate what the hell is going on, as Reuters reports:

"USDOT is concerned by Southwest Airlines’ disproportionate and unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays as well as the failure to properly support customers experiencing a cancellation or delay," the department said.

It said it would "closely examine whether cancellations were controllable and whether Southwest is complying with its customer service plan as well as all other pertinent DOT rules."

For Southwest, it wasn't just that flights couldn't leave airports where it was snowy; it was that the airline hadn't been able to get crews from one place with shitty weather to other places where the weather was OK for flights to resume, as ABC News explains. For starters Southwest spokesperson Jay McVay said, the storm hit so many of Southwest's hubs that "we struggled to get our flight crews and airplanes where they needed to be."

On top of that, Capt. Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in a statement Monday that the airline's IT shit was fucked up:

"It's been a failure at every level at Southwest. Our pilots, our front-line employees have worked under enormous stress to try to get our passengers from A to B, but we were dealt a really bad hand as far as Southwest is concerned," Murray said, in part, adding that their "processes," information technology or infrastructure "just wasn't there to support the operation."

Southwest did at least issue an apology, noting that with the storm largely over, "continuing challenges are impacting our customers and employees in a significant way that is unacceptable," and explaining that "our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning" as it works to "address the wide-scale disruption" by getting planes and crews and off-brand snack mix and half as much Coke or Pepsi as you want where they should be.

The mess isn't anywhere near over, either, as travel editor Jon Ostrower of The Air Current tweeted late Monday night, Southwest employees have received word that the airline is waiting until New Year's Eve to rebook passengers so they won't be placed on a flight that ends up getting cancelled. Oh joy.

Everything I’m hearing from SWA employees on the actual functioning of the airline right now suggests that things are in a completely state of free fall. This is going to stretch for days given the lack of seats for rebooking…anyone.

I’ve received this from several different SWA employees in different parts of the operation. Internally, SWA is trying to get crews back into position to restart the network, but isn’t rebooking anyone until 12/31 at the risk of putting them on a cancelled flight before then.

As of blogtime, Fox News has not yet found a way to blame the flight cancellations on wokeness, critical race theory, or trans people, but we're sure they'll get there eventually. Their baggage may stay in Denver forever, though.

Update: Clearly, Southwest's failures are all Pete Buttigieg's fault, as the idiots at the Gateway Pundit explain.

Gateway Pundit headline: "Secretary Pete Buttigieg AWOL as Massive Southwest Airlines Cancellations Create Holiday Travel Hell Across Nation"

Stupid ol' free market. Why isn't the regulatory state, which much be dismantled for freedom, making the planes fly on time?

[Reuters / WaPo / ABC News / James Lee, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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