OAKLAND, Calif. - Southwest Airlines chaos continued into Tuesday. Over the weekend, Southwest canceled some 2,400 flights, including more than 435 on Monday; leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded or seriously delayed.
Southwest's golden reputation for price, frequency and service took more of a hit. Southwest canceled 90 flights on Tuesday, which represents nearly three percent of its current schedule as the system cascaded into partial collapse.
The pilots union president placed the blame squarely on Southwest management saying, "Once a little hiccup occurs due to the internal processes, our pilots aren't getting to where they need to be. We've been sounding this alarm for about four years and have seen very little approach to correcting it."
Southwest issued this statement, "The Southwest Team appreciates the patience of Customers, and we extend our gratitude to our Employees who have worked tirelessly to stabilize our operation."
Stabilized? At most airports, collections of unclaimed bags lie idle.
The problem isn't just getting people to the right airport, it's also getting their baggage to the right airport because, during this process a lot of people got separated from their bags, in some cases, for days.
It took two days for Ethan Blankenship to get here to Oakland from Austin, Texas, but he still has another problem. "We were notified about two minutes before we were supposed to board, the flight was indeed canceled. So I did have to get a flight here on the 12th, which did have a layover in Denver. So currently my situation is my bag was not taken with me due to those cancellations," said Mr. Blankenship. That's another five to six hour wait at best.
Oakland resident Stanley Rogers, who waited three hours to check his bags in Las Vegas, arrived in Oakland several hours ago.
"My baggage is missing. My luggage is missing. So, now I have to find out what happened to my luggage. I got one piece, but not the other," said Rogers.
Rogers' bag may or may not be coming in today or, as many people belatedly found, it was already there with tons of others.