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Southwest Airlines travel chaos impacts New Year’s Eve plans for 49ers-Raiders fans heading to Las Vegas


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) — Across the Bay Area and scattered among countless stories of Southwest Airlines travel chaos, football fans planning to fly south to watch the San Francisco 49ers take on the Las Vegas Raiders must now reassess their routes. The game is on New Year’s Day.

However, many told ABC7 News they felt the convenience came at a cost.

“It was supposed to be tonight,” Ken Guanga said Wednesday. “We were supposed to go tonight.

Guanga, the man behind the “49ers Tailgate” social media accounts, talks about his now canceled Southwest flight from Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to Las Vegas.

MORE: Southwest travel troubles continue at SJC as travelers desperate for rental cars

Known for his flagship reels of tailgates and fan takeovers, his route would have included documentation of the 49ers-Raiders marching band from this weekend. The teams face off at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

“Everything else has been bought. Plane tickets have been bought, hotels have been booked. It’s my mother-in-law’s birthday,” he described.

A long drive was not an option for Guanga, especially with the rainy weather forecast for the weekend. Instead, he and his family choose to stay grounded.

The travel chaos in the South West has undoubtedly impacted the Christmas weekend for many. Now New Years weekend for some.

VIDEO: If your flight to the South West was cancelled, here’s how to get your refund

“Travellers, I think, who are now affected by this have figured out what’s going on and have either stayed home or canceled their trips entirely,” SJC Deputy Director Scott Wintner told ABC7 News.

However, Randy Musterer said he’s been committed to the game since the 49ers schedule was released. He’s driven by football and the good old “Battle of the Bay” sensation.

“We found out it was New Years, which kind of solidified our New Years plans that we’re going to be in Vegas, going to the 49ers-Raiders game. So 25 of us were excited to go,” Musterer described. “And then now, now we’re worried about thefts.”

MORE: Southwest ground workers call out unreasonable demands amid collapse

His southwest flight from SJC is scheduled for Saturday morning and has not yet been canceled. However, after the collapse of the journey that lasted several days, he takes no risks.

“Spending the amount of money we spent on those tickets, we have to go. So we’re flying with United at this point regardless of what Southwest does with that specific flight,” he explained.

MORE: What should I do if my baggage is delayed, lost or damaged?

Around the Bay Area, looking ahead to Thursday, Southwest has already canceled several flights to LAS, between Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose international airports.

“We Niners fans know we travel,” Guanga explained. “But there are too, too many factors working against us for this journey to happen for a lot of fans.”

If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

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