‘It’s Stressful. It’s Frustrating’: Southwest Flight Cancellations Impacting Travelers at CLT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights Tuesday– more than 70 percent of its schedule, as a winter storm created chaos for holiday travel. 

” I thought it was a joke to be honest with you. I just thought it was going to be weather wise on the west side or maybe the north,” Laura Nordstorm said. 

Laura Nordstrom is one of hundreds of people dealing with Southwest flight cancellations. 

” I’m stuck on the East coast and I’m trying to go home. It’s a mess,” Nordstrom said. 

She said Southwest Airlines officials told her the next available flight isn’t until New Years Eve — and even that isn’t a guarantee. 

” I actually asked — worst case scenario if I was going to be stuck in the airport what will you do for us? They said we can’t do anything,” Nordstrom said. 

 While Southwest customers may rebook or request a refund for their flight,  booking another flight on a different airline can end up being very costly. 

” I ended up booking a very expensive flight. If I do the math, it’s around 1,200  to 1,500 dollars,” Chirag Patel said. 

Gaston Bell said  his canceled flight means he may not get home in time to make it back to work. 

” I have to look at my options. I may have to look at getting another airline if that’s possible because I need to get back,” Bell said. 

Southwest  issued a statement saying in part:” We’re working with safety at the forefront to urgently address wide-scale disruption by rebalancing the airline and repositioning crews and our fleet ultimately to best serve all who plan to travel with us.” 

However,  some who are still trying to find a way home say more needs to be done. 

 “ So when I looked at the flight itinerary of all the flights and all the cancellations it kind of blew me away, so I’m like something needs to be done. Something definitely needs to be done,” Bell said.