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HomeFinanceSouthwest Airlines cancels two-thirds of its flights amid brutal travel weekend

Southwest Airlines cancels two-thirds of its flights amid brutal travel weekend


Southwest Airlines Co. canceled about two-thirds of its flights Monday, in a meltdown that stranded thousands of customers and that worsened while other airlines began to recover from the holiday winter storm.


more than 2,700 scrapped flights Monday, the highest of any major U.S. airline, came as the Dallas-based airline proved unable to stabilize its operations and stem its problems after canceling thousands of flights over the Christmas weekend.

Between Thursday and Monday, the airline canceled about 8,000 flights, according to FlightAware.

The troubles at Southwest intensified Monday despite generally improving weather conditions and warming temperatures throughout much of the eastern half of the country, which had been pummeled by snow, wind and subfreezing temperatures in recent days.

Senior Southwest executives spent much of the weekend, including Christmas Day, meeting to work through the problems, people familiar with the matter said. But their efforts failed to get the airline back on course.

The woes were due to a combination of the location of bad weather, the setup of Southwest’s flight routes and, managers and union leaders said, execution challenges including a crew scheduling system that was overwhelmed by and buckled under the volume of changes.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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