Southwest Airlines customers are scrambling to change their travel plans amid another day of mass cancellations.
More than 2,900 Southwest flights were canceled Monday, more than 2,600 flights are canceled Tuesday and nearly 2,500 are canceled Wednesday, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight status in real time.
“With consecutive days of extreme winter conditions on our network behind us, the continued challenges are having a significant impact on our customers and employees that is unacceptable,” Southwest said in a statement. “As we continue work to recover our operations, we have made the decision to continue to operate a reduced schedule by flying approximately one-third of our schedule over the next few days.”
Here’s what South West customers need to know.
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What happens if Southwest cancels my flight?
Customers whose flights are canceled can rebook or request a refund for their flights.
Additionally, all South West customers who were scheduled to travel through January 2, 2023 can rebook without paying an additional fee or fly on hold within 14 days of their original travel date between previously booked cities.
Flights can be booked on the Southwest website or by phone at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA. Calling customers should expect long wait times.
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Is there a way to get refunds on Southwest?
Customers whose flights have been canceled can fill out a form on Southwest’s website to request a refund, if they choose not to rebook.
The Department of Transport requires all airlines to offer refunds when a flight is canceled for any reason. The rules regarding delays are more complicated and vary widely. The DOT Dashboard for Travelers lists policies by airline.
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Can I be reimbursed for additional expenses?
Southwest customers affected by cancellations or a “significant flight delay” between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2 can submit email receipts for reimbursement.
“We will honor reasonable requests for reimbursement for meals, hotel and alternative transportation,” the airline said on its website.
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How many flights has Southwest canceled?
Southwest canceled just under 8,000 flights between Monday and Wednesday, according to FlightAware.
What does Southwest do about cancellations?
Southwest is reaching out to affected travelers and asking other customers, who are not scheduled to fly within the next 72 hours, to delay the call to avoid jamming busy phone lines.
The airline also apologizes for having “failed”, saying that “our sincere apologies for this have only just begun”.
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Why is Southwest Airlines canceling flights?
Southwest said it was “full and prepared” heading into the holiday weekend, but severe weather conditions forced operational changes, and it is now trying to recover.
“We are working with safety at the forefront to urgently address large-scale disruptions by rebalancing the airline and repositioning crews and our fleet to best serve everyone planning to travel with us,” said the airline, calling the work intentional, necessary. and aiming to avoid “last minute inconveniences”.