The CEO of Southwest Airlines released a lengthy video statement apologizing for thousands of flight cancellations over the holidays.

Airports across the country saw chaos over the weekend as major airlines had thousands canceled or severely delayed flights due to dangerous weather conditions and staffing issues. Southwest canceled over 70% of its flights on Monday and 62% of its flights on Tuesday and Wednesday. In total, Southwest has canceled over 15,700 flights since December 22.


Bob Jordan, the airline’s CEO, explained the issues in the statement and said he was “truly sorry” for travelers’ frustrations.

“I want everyone who is dealing with the problems we’ve been facing, whether you haven’t been able to get to where you need to go or you’re one of our heroic employees caught up in a massive effort to stabilize the airline, to know is that we’re doing everything we can to return to a normal operation,” Jordan said.

He continued that the winter storm and “record bitter cold brought challenges” to Southwest and other airlines and that they hope to be “back on track before next week.” Southwest has stopped selling tickets for some upcoming flights and passengers are encouraged to buy from other airlines.

Capt. Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said this ordeal has been a “failure at every level.”

“Our pilots, our front-line employees have worked under enormous stress to try to get our passengers from A to B,” Murray said in a separate statement. “But we were dealt a really bad hand as far as Southwest is concerned… Unfortunately, our customers are bearing the brunt of it.”

Murray added the infrastructure of the company wasn’t able to support the operation over the last month.

Travelers are now taking to social media to share their grievances and find out their rights amid the cancellations. Under federal law, customers are entitled to a refund in the event of a cancellation, regardless of the reason, if they choose not to travel. They also can get a refund if an airline “made a significant schedule change and/or significantly delays a flight” and they choose not to travel.

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