Southwest Airlines

Southwest Explains Disruption in Air Service, Apologizes to Customers

Airline offering refunds to customers who didn't travel, possibly vouchers

Southwest Airlines Experiences Major Flight Cancellations Across U.S.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Mike Van de Ven, president and COO of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, released a lengthy statement Thursday apologizing to customers for the airline's recent disruption in service that led to roughly 2,400 cancellations.

In a blog post on the company's website, Van de Ven said weather and air traffic constraints, not an organized "sick out," stalled Southwest's Florida operations which prevented aircraft and crews from being in other locations on their schedule on Saturday.

With crews and planes out of place, the list of cancellations continued into Tuesday as the airline attempted to reset its network.

Van de Ven said the trouble in Florida caused such a significant disruption because approximately 40-50% of the airline's aircraft fly through Floriday on any given day and because about a quarter of the crew assignments include at least one Florida city.

Van de Ven said the airline was reaching out to customers impacted by the disruption "to offer our apologies and invite them to give us another chance to earn their business."

Kyle Arnold with The Dallas Morning News joins NBC 5 to explain the reasons behind Southwest Airlines' flight cancellations.

USA Today reported Thursday that customers impacted by the delays were being offered vouchers between $100 and $250.

A Southwest Airlines spokesperson would only confirm to NBC 5 Thursday that they were offering apologies and "a gesture of goodwill." The representative didn't specify what that gesture was.

The company did say that when a flight is canceled by the airline and if a customer chooses not to travel that they can retain their travel funds for future travel or request a refund.

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