BALTIMORE - The holiday travel nightmare still isn't over for many looking to get home or to their planned destination, especially if they are traveling on Southwest Airlines out of BWI, DCA, or IAD.
Southwest canceled 2,909 flights nationwide on Monday, 2,694 on Tuesday, and 2,507 so far for Wednesday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. For Wednesday, December 28th as of 8:30 AM, 203 were canceled at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), 64 at Washington-Reagan National Airport and 9 at Washington-Dulles International Airport.
FOX 5's Maureen Umeh drove to BWI to talk with travelers trying to get on their way. She encountered people who are planning to cancel their trips altogether due to the chaos. Maureen talked to Devin Durham, a traveler at BWI who is trying to get on an 18-day cruise out of Fort Lauderdale - and has been working with friends to find other flights on other airlines. He got to the airport early and once he got past security, learned his flight was canceled and was offered a voucher instead of a fast rebooking. He says it is the "worst he's ever seen it."
As for other airlines with flights to the DC area, they are working to recover steadily. American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines all who encountered major cancelations just ahead of Christmas often have codeshare or interline agreements with other domestic carriers, so passengers can often be rebooked on other airlines. Southwest does not have any domestic interline or codeshare agreements with other domestic carriers, so passengers can't be rebooked on other airlines.
What is to blame for Southwest Airlines' travel troubles?
Southwest's website states that "Due to adverse weather events and their resulting effects, we are currently experiencing operational disruptions and are working diligently and safely to restore normal flight schedules as quickly as possible." However, weather alone - especially as conditions get back to normal, is not the core issue according to a number of travel industry websites.
In a statement to FOX 5 DC, Southwest stated that they "…plan to operate a reduced schedule by flying roughly one third of our schedule for the next several days. The latest information, including a video from our CEO Bob Jordan is available on SWAMedia.com. We implemented a site where Customers can contact Southwest to rebook or request a refund: Southwest.com/traveldisruption, and Teams are finalizing a resource to assist Customers with reuniting with lost or missing baggage. Additionally, our Travel Advisory is still in effect to offer Customers maximum flexibility with rebooking. The Southwest Team is working to accommodate Customers on available flights as soon as possible, and we apologize for the inconvenience to our Customers."
USDOT Weighs In on Southwest Airlines Travel Troubles
"USDOT is concerned by Southwest Airlines’ disproportionate and unacceptable rate of cancelations and delays, as well as the failure to properly support customers experiencing a cancelation or delay," the department said in a statement. "As more information becomes available, the department will closely examine whether cancelations were controllable and whether Southwest is complying with its customer service plan, as well as all other pertinent DOT rules."
Southwest declined to comment to FOX News Digital about criticisms from passengers and the Department of Transportation, but pointed to an earlier statement in which the airline expressed "heartfelt apologies" and said it is working to "urgently address wide-scale disruption" with safety at the forefront.
"With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our Customers and Employees in a significant way that is unacceptable," the airline said.
"We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S.," the statement continued. "These operational conditions forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams used to recover the airline operating at capacity."
FOX Business contributed to this report.