ORLANDO, Fla. - Southwest Airlines passengers were hoping to get home Monday after seeing so many flights canceled over the weekend.
Passenger Mindy Englar is trying to go to St Louis and she said she is very stressed.
"Been worried all day about it," she told us.
Jessica Besancenez also flying to St Louis with her kids, explained that she was a "little panicky." Her 9-year-old daughter, Madelynn said, "I am very tired. I want to get sleep. Kind of cold."
According to flight tracker FlightAware, more than 1,000 flights were canceled on Sunday across the country, and on Monday, there were 363 cancellations.
Damien Ward is going to Washington, DC.
"They canceled the flights. They did not give us any warning," he said.
Others got more notice.
Jessica Besancenez said, "We got a text notification around 5:15 that our 11:30 flight was canceled."
Southwest Airlines released a statement saying numerous cancellations were primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and crews out of pre-planned positions to operate. It cascaded into Monday.
Nicole Ramirez says she planned to take her 6-year-old daughter Rosie for surgery. She has stage four cancer.
"Weather and air traffic controllers shortage. I personally think they’re lying and covering up something else."
"After they said it was weather, then they said it was air traffic controllers. My father’s a former air traffic controller and if it affects one flight, it affects all of us, so why is Southwest the only flight to be affected in this manner," Damien Ward said.
Passenger Tina Worrell said, "I think SW has eluded to weather delays but it doesn’t seem like we’re having bad weather."
At Orlando International Airport, there were 21 flights that were canceled on Monday or about 10% of all Southwest flights at OIA.
Southwest said they are hoping to restore their full flight schedule by Tuesday.
Below is a full statement from Southwest Airlines spokesman Dan Landson:
"Southwest Airlines extends a tremendous apology to our Customers and Employees for the flight cancellations and delays which occurred over the weekend and on Monday.
"On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and crews out of pre-planned positions to operate our schedule on Saturday. Unfortunately, the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our Crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday.
"While we do not have specific airport numbers to share, Southwest Teams have been working diligently to restore stability to the network, and we are experiencing less disruptions on Monday. We hope to restore our full schedule as soon as possible. As a note, the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest Employee demonstrations, as some outlets are reporting.
"To every Customer that experienced a cancellation or delay, Southwest offers our sincerest regret regarding disrupted travel plans, and we look forward to a future opportunity to demonstrate our safe, reliable, friendly, and legendary Southwest Hospitality – something that Customers should always expect from Southwest Airlines.
"If Customers require assistance from Southwest, they can utilize one of the airline’s self-service options for convenience or Contact Us via one of the methods listed on Southwest.com."
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