Crowds of frustrated passengers stranded for hours waiting for their flight, hundreds of unclaimed baggage – this is how some airports in the United States looked for almost a week. The worst winter storm in decades has thwarted many Americans’ Christmas plans. As many as 17,000 domestic flights have been canceled since Wednesday. Southwest Airlines, which has canceled three-quarters of its flights, faces the biggest problems. Aviation authorities acknowledge that this situation has overtaken them and announce a refund. The US Department of Transportation announced that it will examine the carrier’s activities in recent days.
One day before Christmas Eve, the United States, including New York State, was hit with the greatest force Blizzard, which was considered the largest in decades. Flight passengers began to feel the impending disaster in the middle of last week.
17,000 flights have been cancelled, and one airline has canceled three-quarters of its flights
By Friday, CNN reported that more than 5,000 flights had been canceled across the country, followed by more than 3,400 the next day and more than 3,100 on Christmas Day. According to FlightAware, on Monday, Boxing Day, more than 3,900 flights within the United States had been canceled as of 10:50 p.m. local time. According to CNBC, the airline has canceled a total of 17,000 flights since Wednesday.
Customers of Southwest Airlines, one of the world’s largest low-cost airlines, are right to be particularly bitter. According to the media, no other US airline has canceled as many flights as the Dallas-based airline. Of the nearly 4,000 flights canceled as of Monday night, at least 2,800, or nearly 75 percent, were operated by Southwest. About 300 flights were canceled in the space of a half hour on Monday afternoon alone. About 8,000 calls have been canceled since Thursday.
Denver International Airport announced Monday evening that rebooking passengers who were unable to take their previously scheduled flight would not be able to do so until Friday. He also stated that new bookings would not be possible until January 3.
Passengers complained that many people were unable to contact customer service by phone all day, and the airline’s website crashed. One passenger told CNN her relatives spent 10 hours on the phone trying to get information about their flight.
“We’ve never seen anything like this.”
Also, people who have been flying in the United States with other airlines in recent days do not hide their frustration with failed plans and long waiting hours at airports.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” a passenger in Los Angeles, California complained. “I don’t think I’ll ever fly a plane that flies through Chicago again in the winter,” she said.
Pictures from Chicago airport showed hundreds of unclaimed bags. In some cases, it is not known when the owners will arrive at the airport. Some have a chance of returning in four or five days. Services try to group bags, for example, according to the city of departure, but the matter is complicated by the influx of more baggage.
“Two of my flights have been cancelled,” said another woman. – I waited in line for about an hour and a half to book another flight at a different airport. I came here and had to wait in line and then the flight got cancelled.
As Harriet Kingsbury, of Oakland, California, said while waiting for her flight, “It’s never been so crowded.” “It’s crazy.”
Southwest Airlines captain on ‘failing on every level’
Southwest Airlines said the disruption will continue in the days leading up to New Year’s Day. As reported, more than a third of the standard schedule will be executed. 60% off schedule on Tuesdays. flights.
Airport authorities are also talking about the chaos. – We had a tough day. We’re probably going to have another tough day tomorrow, CEO of the airline Bob Jordan told The Wall Street Journal Monday night. “It’s the biggest event I’ve ever seen,” he admitted.
Southwest Captain and president of the airline’s pilots union, Casey Murray, called the situation with its many cancellations and flight delays “a failure on every level.” “It was disastrous,” he said. “Our operations and infrastructure were not where they should be to support operations, and unfortunately our customers are suffering the consequences,” he admitted.
The carrier announces a refund, there will be an examination
Southwest Airlines commercial director Ryan Green confirmed that costs incurred by the airline’s customers in connection with missed flights, including those related to connecting tickets operated by other airlines and hotel accommodations, will be covered. He added that customers whose flights have been canceled are entitled to a refund. At the same time, they were required to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis.
The US Department of Transportation said Monday that it will review Southwest Airlines’ actions over the past few days, given an unusually high number of canceled and delayed flights. He described the situation as “unacceptable”.
Reuters, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC News, tvnmeteo.pl
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