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Southwest and American cancel hundreds of flights as winter weather, COVID cause problems for airlines

Travel delays and cancellations continue at America’s busiest airports. North Texas’ American Airlines and Southwest Airlines both had hundreds of cancellations.

DALLAS — Travel delays and cancellations continue at some of America’s busiest airports. North Texas’ American Airlines and Southwest Airlines both had hundreds of delays and cancellations Friday. 

In a statement, Southwest thanked their customers for their patience and said, “We made flight adjustments across our network Friday with disruptions created by winter storms and ongoing staffing challenges."

Kelly Gottschalk was among the travelers who faced canceled flights. 

“My 9 o'clock flight tonight got cancelled but I’m still grateful that I got on an earlier flight. My daughter coming out of New York is not so lucky,” Kelly said. “It’s got to be a terrible situation. Everyone’s trying to stay safe and they’re doing what they can.”

According to FlightAware.com, as of 4 p.m., Southwest Airlines led all airlines worldwide with more than 500 canceled flights and another 500 delayed.

“It’s not just Southwest, it’s everybody,” Dynamic Travel owner Steve Cosgrove said. 

Cosgrove said every airline is getting hit hard by winter weather and COVID.

“It’s affecting everything. Not just passengers, but crew, staffing, the people at headquarters, route planning. They are all short staffed,” Cosgrove said. “One minute they’ve got a crew and the next minute two of the crew are testing positive and it’s just a nightmare for all the airlines. Not just Southwest.”

As of 4 p.m., American Airlines also had almost 200 cancellations Friday and at least 270 delays. 

Cosgrove encourages travelers to be patient.

“They are not canceling the flights or re-routing or not landing in places just to displace you or to cause you problems,” he said. “They are doing the best they can with what they’ve got to work with.”

Southwest is offering pay incentives through Jan. 25 to reward their employees during the dynamic time.

American and Southwest both encourage their customers to check for flights updates on their respective websites.


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