Southwest apologizes for cancelling more than 2, 400 flights

Southwest apologizes for cancelling more than 2, 400 flights

Southwest Airlines says it's offering an apology and goodwill gesture to passengers after the airline canceled and delayed thousands of flights this week.

Nearly 2,400 flights were cancelled from Saturday to Monday, the airline blamed on bad weather and air traffic control issues. All the disruptions left passengers stranded in aircraft terminals across the nation, with many airing their frustrations on social media.

In these cases, we do our best to make things right, and we are working directly with customers who have been affected by the recent disruptions offering our apology and a gesture of goodwill, a Southwest spokesperson told FOX Business.

This so-called goodwill gesture comes in the form of a Southwest LUV Voucher, which can be applied for future Southwest travel, according to the Texas-based carrier.

Additional, when a Southwest flight is canceled and the customer decides not to travel, the customer can retain their travel funds from the ticket for future travel or request a refund of the ticket, the spokesperson added.

Southwest has said that bad weather and air traffic control issues caused cascading failures in Florida on Friday where planes and pilots were trapped out of position for their next flight.

The crisis peaked on Sunday when the airline canceled more than 1,100 flights, or 30% of its schedule. By Tuesday evening it had canceled more than 100 flights or 2% of its schedule, although more than 1,000 flights were delayed according to tracking service FlightAware.

By Tuesday, when the delays and cancellations finally started to ease, CEO Gary Kelly issued an apology to customers during an interview on Good Morning America saying: This is not what we want but unfortunately, it takes a couple of days to get things back in order. Kelly said Southwest was hit so hard because more than half of its fleet touches the Sunshine State.

We have a linear route system. We're simply different. Kelly said, further arguing: Everyone was impacted on Friday and everybody was affected in a very big way. The woes of this past week come just after the carrier struggled with delays and cancellations all summer. Even a senior executive admitted to employees that the airline is still understaffed and will need to reduce flights in November and December.