If I were a cancelled passenger, I don’t think I would ever fly Southwest again.

I used to enjoy flying Southwest airlines. They seemed to be kind of a cool, relatively relaxed, relatively friendly airline. That was until the holiday meltdown over the course of the last week.

Now, let me explain that I wasn’t personally affected by the holiday meltdown because I did not have to fly anywhere. In fact, I haven’t flown anywhere since the start of the pandemic. But Southwest canceled, since Christmas Eve, something akin to an unfathomable 13,000 flights.

Now, if each flight had an average of 100 passengers, that would mean that there would be something like 1,300,000 people who were affected by these cancellations. If I were any of these people, I would never fly Southwest again.

I have two questions about this whole Southwest debacle that I really don’t understand:

First, there were stories that flight crews from Southwest had to call in to their operations center to indicate their locations, and that some of them had to spend hours on hold.

Southwest doesn’t have a virtual private network into which flight crews can log in and indicate their locations?

I mean, isn’t that what computer systems are for?

You have a VPN, employees log in, and an AI system matches availability with needs. Simple. 

My second question involves stories of baggage arriving at their destination without the people involved. My question is, how did the baggage get there?

If there weren’t any flights, how did the bags get there?

If anyone has any insight into these two questions, feel free to leave a comment.

In any case, aside from stranding their passengers for the holidays, these passengers frequently rang up enormous costs while they were trying to get home. People had to buy clothes and toiletries and get their medications renewed, and pay for hotel stays, and pay for rental cars or buses or trains in a valiant effort to get home.

Now we get the stories that apparently many of the other airlines were price gouging the cost of tickets as desperate passengers tried to rebook flights.

There simply is no way that Southwest can make this right.  There will be a number of investigations, and probably fines and penalties, but at this point this airline probably deserves to go out of business. You can’t have this kind of epic failure without there being really severe consequences.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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