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Issues with Southwest Airlines delays and cancellations appear to be subsiding

Signs of improvement with Southwest Airlines on Tuesday after a weekend of chaos and thousands of flight cancellations.
Signs of improvement with Southwest Airlines on Tuesday after a weekend of chaos and thousands of flight cancellations.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Signs of improvement with Southwest Airlines on Tuesday after a weekend of chaos and thousands of flight cancellations.

The airline’s CEO came out and apologized for the issues that left many travelers frustrated, stranded, and seeking answers.

“Of course, I want to apologize to all of our customers,” said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.

The issues began last Friday and it’s been a ripple effect ever since.

On Tuesday, Kelly said operations are finally improving.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport it looked better Tuesday, with no long lines visible.

“Things are much smoother today,” Kelly said. “We have a few more cancellations than we would normally have, but things are pretty well back to normal.”

Southwest blamed the chaos on bad Florida weather, lack of personnel, and air traffic control issues, but the FAA said there was no staffing shortage reported since Friday.

“So there were no ATC issues over the weekend, and that’s absolutely true,” Kelly said. “Any industry expert knows it takes several days if you have that large of an impact on the operation to get the airplanes where they need to be and then to match the crews up with that.”

There were a total of 90 system-wide cancellations out of the airline’s almost 3,300 flights scheduled for Tuesday.

Southwest isn’t the only airline that has experienced these issues.

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About the Author:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.