Southwest Continues to Cancel Flights After 2,000 Weekend Disruptions

As of Monday morning, Southwest had canceled just over 340 flights.

Southwest Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights over the weekend, and into Monday, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.

The carrier canceled more than 800 flights on Saturday and more than 1,100 flights on Sunday, Reuters reported. The Sunday cancellations accounted for at least 30% of its scheduled flights.

As of Monday morning, Southwest had canceled just over 340 flights, according to The widespread cancelations stranded passengers during the three-day weekend and resulted in hours-long wait times to talk to customer service representatives.

"[Air traffic control] issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation," Southwest tweeted on Saturday. "We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual."

Passengers board a Southwest Airlines airplane at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, California,
Robyn Beck/Getty Images

The airline told Reuters the cancellations were due to bad weather in Florida, compounded by air traffic control issues in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration said there were no FAA air traffic staffing shortages reported, but tweeted "Flight delays & cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday PM due to widespread severe weather, military training, & limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville en route center."

The FAA added: "Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place."

A representative for Southwest did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Travel + Leisure, but told Reuters, "With fewer frequencies between cities in our current schedule, recovering during operational challenges is more difficult and prolonged."

While other airlines experienced some issues over the weekend, none were as severe as Southwest. Both American Airlines and Spirit Airlines each canceled 2% of their flights on Sunday, CNN reported.

This isn't the first time Southwest has dealt with widespread cancellations this year. In June, the airline was forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights due to a computer outage as well as issues with a third-party weather data provider.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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