Passengers Furious After Southwest Airlines Leaves Thousands Stranded: 'I Just Want to Go Home'

The popular airline was hit with two separate issues this week that left thousands of passengers grounded and angry.

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By Emily Rella • Jun 6, 2021

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Passengers across the country are furious after hundreds of delays and cancellations hit Southwest Airlines flights due to internal technical difficulties.

The popular airline was hit with two separate issues this week that left thousands of passengers stranded and disgruntled.

On Monday, Southwest faced connectivity issues with a third-party weather supplier used on flights, delaying over 40% of the company's total flights for the day.

Related: JetBlue Founder Launches Airline With $39 Flights

The issue appeared to be resolved when a second system glitch on Tuesday caused connectivity issues that led to the cancellation of about 15% of total flights for the day, trickling over into Wednesday where another 260 flights were cancelled and several hundred were delayed.

"We are still experiencing a small number of cancelations and delays across our network as we continue working to resume normal operations," the company said in a statement, citing that the issues had been "resolved."

Unsurprisingly, this wasn't sufficient enough of an explanation for customers.

Many took to social media to air their grievances and share their experiences with the airline's outages, with many angry over limited-to-no new flight options, extremely long lines at the ticket counters and being stuck on the tarmac for hours at a time.

"You knew you had a failing system, but yet continued to book flights," Twitter user Shiloh Benjamin wrote. "Now I'm stuck and missing a very important event."

"Since you are having multi-day outages, apparently you need a contingency plan," another posted. "Forcing passengers to sit on the tarmac for indeterminate amounts of time is unacceptable."

Related: American Airlines Desperately Asks Employees to Volunteer for Shifts

Other customers cited the situation as the "longest domestic flight experience" of their lives, with some calling the handling of the cancellations "insane" and describing their mental state was "scrambled."

The company provided an update late Wednesday with a statement on social media, telling customers to expect longer-than-normal wait times with customer service.

"We are in the process of resuming normal operations after a system issue this afternoon that created flight disruptions throughout our network," Southwest said. "We know many Customers still require assistance and are working to address those concerns as quickly as possible."

Southwest, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is in the midst of a promotion where customers can buy flights for 50% off on 50 selected dates in the fall.

The airline saw a loss of 7% of its workforce (about 4,300 employees) from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020 due to pandemic-related layoffs and exits.

The company is currently up nearly 50% year over year after the pandemic devastated the travel and aviation industry in the first half of 2020.

Related: These Are the Ten Biggest Airlines Companies

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Emily Rella is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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