ST. LOUIS – After another day of cancellations, Southwest Airlines says it should be back to a normal schedule for flights by Friday.

Southwest Airlines is operating at roughly one third of its normal schedule again nationwide on Thursday. Early this morning, more than 2,300 Southwest flights has been cancelled, according to Flight Aware.  

Airline officials say they were encouraged by the state of their recovery and plan to resume normal operations tomorrow.

Southwest Airlines, in a statement Thursday, saying, “We know our deepest apologies to our customers, employees and all affected through this disruption only go so far.” 

“We know by now, all the flexibility and planning we put into place to deal with the storm just wasn’t enough,” says Ryan Green, Chief Commercial Officer with Southwest Airlines. “We’ve extended flexibility for self-service travel changes through Jan. 2.” 

Southwest has set up a webpage where customers can submit refund and reimbursement requests for meals, hotel and alternate transportation. The resource also aims to connect customers to their baggage. 

“For example, if you’re still waiting on a bag, you can submit to retrieve that bag at no cost to you,” says Green. “You can submit a full refund for any cancelled flights and if you have any travel expenses due to the disruption, you can submit directly on our website.”   

Since Dec. 22, Southwest has canceled more than 15,570 flights. The company blames a host of reasons behind the chaos, including overloaded internal staffing platforms. 

Going into another holiday weekend, the Dallas-based air carrier claims it will be back to normal on Friday, a week and a day after their problems first began. 

“The tools we use to recover from disruption serve us well 99% of the time,” says Bob Jordan, CEO Southwest Airlines. “But clearly, we need to double down on our already existing plans to upgrade systems for these extreme circumstances so that we never again face what’s happening right now.” 

At Lambert International Airport, you’re not seeing the number of bags that you did on Monday or Tuesday. That’s because baggage has been moved offsite near the air cargo area.  Southwest staff is working to reunite that luggage with its rightful owners. 

If you’ve been impacted by the situation, click here for more information from Southwest.


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