Southwest Airlines Flight Cancellations Due to Maintenance Issues

The Dallas-based carrier canceled more than 180 flights Tuesday

It was a long day of travel for some people headed in and out of Dallas Love Field, thanks to more than 180 flight cancellations.

According to Southwest Airlines, while some of the cancellations were due to weather, the carrier also had more than double the daily average number of aircraft unexpectedly out of service for maintenance.

"We want to point out this is not a 'grounding' of aircraft -- it's a routine part of our business to consistently review aircraft within our fleet and fix anything reported by a mechanic," Southwest Airlines said a statement.

But for travelers forced to change plans, the cancellations and delays felt anything but routine.

Eric Consford was on business in Kansas City when he got delayed at the airport for nearly five hours.

"We flew up this morning and were supposed to be back this afternoon. I was hoping to be back in time for my daughter's cheer practice, but it doesn't look like I'm going to make it," Consford said.

Over the public address system, he said passengers were told there was an issue with the plane. After a little digging, he read about the high number of planes that had been pulled from service since last week.

"It's frustrating. Sometimes you feel like the companies forget how things like this affect our personal lives," Consford said.

Other travelers said the delays just come with the business.

"I've got a lot of confidence in them. I think they do what they do about as well as it can be done," Frank Wathen said.

Wathen's flight out for business was pushed by about two hours, while his colleague's was canceled altogether.

He, along with some others, managed to reschedule to new flights.

"We were wondering if we were going to be sleeping overnight in the airport," Swami Nathan said.

Nathan and his wife managed to get on a new flight back home to San Antonio, after they found out their first wouldn't leave until hours later.

"I hope they get their act together soon and everything back to normal," Nathan said.

This "operational emergency," as it's been declared by Southwest Airlines, follows several in other cities and requires mechanics to be at work.

The airline has been negotiating with the mechanics' union since 2012.

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