Southwest Airlines Has Canceled Thousands of Holiday Flights This Week

The airline canceled another 60% of its flights on Tuesday.

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If you tried to fly over Christmas weekend, it was likely you encountered delays or cancellations. The polar vortex/bomb cyclone/frigid weather caused chaos across the entire country, and seeing as no one can control the weather, some of these cancellations were out of airlines' hands. Now, on Tuesday, the cancellations continue, but they seem to be bothering one airline in particular. 

About 3,000 flights were canceled as of 2:45 pm on December 27, and Southwest is responsible for 2,600 of them, CNN reports. Southwest also canceled nearly 3,000 flights on Monday out of nearly 6,000 total flights across all airlines.

According to FlightAware, the six airports most affected by these cancellations are Denver International, Chicago Midway International, Harry Reid International, Baltimore/Washington International, Nashville International, and Dallas Love Field. Each airport experienced at least 100 cancellations on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, a Southwest representative told the New York Times, "Our biggest issue at this time is getting our crews and our aircraft in the right places."

Unfortunately, the delays and cancellations aren't expected to stop any time soon. Many outlets are reporting that Southwest customers who had flights canceled won't be able to get new flights until the new year, and the company itself has confirmed in statements that the major disruptions will likely continue throughout the week.

"This is the largest scale event that I've ever seen," Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

CNN reports that the volume of cancellations from Southwest is so high that the Biden administration is officially investigating the issue.

"Thousands of flights nationwide have been canceled around the holidays," President Joe Biden shared in a tweet. "Our Administration is working to ensure airlines are held accountable."

Members of the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association say that the problem doesn't come as a surprise.

"We've been having these issues for the past 20 months," Captain Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, told CNN. "We've seen these sorts of meltdowns occur on a much more regular basis and it really just has to do with outdated processes and outdated IT."

If you are one of the thousands of people who have been affected by the recent cancellations and delays, use the US Department of Transportation's new dashboard to determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.