It’s the nightmare after Christmas. Thousands of flights across the country are canceled, including two-thirds of Southwest Airlines flights.
Southwest customer service representatives have told customers that Saturday, Dec. 31, is the earliest to reroute through the airline.
If your flight has been canceled, you can request a full refund or get a flight credit through Southwest. If you have trouble reaching Southwest customer service, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights advises to try an international number to get rebooked. The international number shouldn’t have that huge wait as the U.S. hotline, he said.
“My flight has gotten rebooked, canceled, delayed... the whole shebang through Southwest. I’m not really exactly for sure why,” said Annette Beaty.
“We’ve had five cancellations. They finally paid for two rooms,” said Dawn Soares, who was at the Southwest ticket desk on Tuesday morning.
When their hotel room voucher ended, Soares and her husband tried again to get rerouted to Los Angeles.
“We’re here to see if they’ll give us two more vouchers, but our flight was just canceled again, so we don’t know what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go, and, hopefully, we can get our money back so maybe we can get a rental car and get home,” Soares said.
Of the 17 departure cancellations from Tulsa International Airport on Tuesday, 11 of those were Southwest flights.
“Everything seems to be red or already booked, things like that. So, I don’t know what else to do at this point,” Soares added.
Another passenger said he has been stranded for days while trying to make his way back home.
“I’m from Orlando, Florida, trying to get back to Orlando, Florida. Unfortunately, this is day number three for me being canceled. So, I’m just trying to get back,” said Matt Wisdom.
He said he is staying optimistic.
“I have my sister searching around the other airlines to see what she can find, where I can try to get out of here,” he said.
Many travelers took their transportation into their own hands by taking the wheel.
“I’m going to have to end up getting a rental car and just drive, It’s a 17-hour drive. Then just end up flying back from Baltimore to Tulsa,” Beaty added.
“Well, I figure with him driving, me driving, we can probably make it. It’s better than us sitting here and hoping they’ll give us rooms,” Soares said, after a big sigh.
The U.S. Department of Transportation tweeted that they are monitoring Southwest’s massive cancellations.
USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service. The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.— TransportationGov (@USDOT) December 27, 2022
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