LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) — The frustrations continued Monday for Southwest Airlines travelers stranded by cancellations at BWI and airports across the country.
Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights over the weekend and the Dallas-based airline accounted for nearly half of the flight cancellations worldwide Sunday. Another 363 flights were canceled Monday, leaving grounded flyers fed up.READ MORE: Ocean City Hit With 9 Inches Of Snow Saturday Morning
The surge in cancellations upended people’s weekend plans, including those of Stan and Terri Dorsey, who were stranded in Baltimore while traveling from Pennsylvania to Portland, Maine.
“Six hours we stood in line to get rebooked. Six hours with one gate agent rebooking hundreds of people,” said Terri Dorsey, adding that the couple boarded a flight at one point only to be told to get off.
But it wasn’t a total loss, according to her husband, who joked that he was able to watch two football games just while standing in line.
“It’s like, oh my goodness. We’re in Baltimore! We don’t know anybody here,” Stan Dorsey said. “What are we going to do?”
The Dorseys weren’t alone. R.J. Morris’ family was traveling from Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, when they too were swept up by flight delays.
“We were supposed to fly out yesterday after a weekend wedding and Southwest hit us up yesterday and just moved our flight to today,” Morris told WJZ. “We have some friends of ours who got their flights moved two days, and now we’re delayed again today.”READ MORE: Winter Weather: Heaviest Snow Hits Eastern Shore, With Wind Gusts Possibly Exceeding 40 MPH
Southwest has attributed to poor weather and air traffic control issues in Florida.
“We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening,” the airline said in a statement, adding that it was doing everything in its power to make things right with customers.
In a Sunday tweet, however, the Federal Aviation Administration pushed back against the airline’s explanation for canceled or delayed flights.
“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday,” the tweet said. “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. Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”
The Southwest Airline Pilots Association, the airline’s pilots union, last week asked a federal court to block the airline’s request that employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to CBS News, the union has distanced its members from the delays and cancellations.
“SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions,” the union said.
Whatever the case, flyers like Stan Dorsey who have been stranded at airports across the country just want to go home.MORE NEWS: New Details Surface About The Fire That Killed 3 Baltimore Firefighters
“The good news is they’ve given us travel vouchers,” Dorsey said. “The bad news is that it’s Southwest.”