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Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

RHallmark
New Arrival

Has anyone else noticed an increase in the number of flights that Southwest cancels causing a reschedule?  I have been flying Southwest since 2001 and have been A-List Preferred for several years.  Beginning in November 2019 I noticed a dramatic increase in the number of flights that were cancelled triggering a booking change.  In one period I had 5 out of 6 round trip flights rescheduled due to cancelled flights.  It has reached the point of feeling like a bait and switch operation since it is usually too late or too expensive to rebook with another airline when they cancel the flight.  I also fly with other airlines although not as frequent and have not had that problem with them.  I hate to give up the companion pass but have decided to use another airline for my travel needs due to frequently having to change business/vacation plans.

22 REPLIES 22

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

bec102896
Top Contributor

So back in 2019 a lot of the schedule changes were due to the MAX8 being grounded and of course once covid started it all got worse because no airline wants to fly empty planes so the schedules were adjusted based on demand. I had flights with several other airlines and they had just as many changes/cancellations. 

 

Remember if the airline makes a change to your flight you can make 1 free change to your reservation to fly the same city pairs within 14 days. If no flight option works for you then you can ask for a refund to your original form of payment. 

 

You can also share your feedback about all these flight changes with southwest directly Contact Customer Relations this way they can document your concerns and if any flight caused a significant delay you could request compensation. 

 

-Blake

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

slalomskier
New Arrival

Just had family vacation plans blown up by schedule change. Booked flights in early April for trip to LAS in mid-June. Earlier this week, learned the return flights had been wiped out with only one very bad (early morning) option to return on the scheduled date. It was an unacceptable option as plans were made and tickets purchased for an event earlier on the day of departure.  A choice had to be made, either take a bad flight option home on a Saturday and miss an event and time with other family members or fly home the next day with an additional $800 in hotel and food costs.  Hard to believe SWA would make drastic schedule changes just seven weeks in advance.  I'm an A-List flyer and I have never seen this before. Cost of vacation goes way up, confidence in SWA goes way down.

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

5280Av8r
Active Member

One piece of information about the airline industry is that there are specific dates when airlines submit schedules to airports and this can be different from when they make flights available to purchase. This is why it can be troublesome if you book a ticket too far in advance because the schedule on the airline's website is what they expect their schedule to be, but airlines are always evaluating routes and cities based on supply and demand of passengers and even when passengers want to fly, so sometimes they change the schedule. Airlines will even trade their slots with other airlines if it's past the schedule submission deadline. 

 

Airlines are given certain slots based on their historical flight operations, but sometimes the airline decides to change flight time or even drop the airport all together or add destinations all of which affect flight schedules across their network.

 

Here is a link with more information, it's pretty long, but worth a skim or "command/control F" to learn at least a little bit.

http://www.wwacg.org/up/files/DocsWSG/WORLWIDE_SCHEDULING_GUIDELINES/WSG2-Jul00.pdf

 

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

jksobonya
Rising Star

Every airline has had massive changes and cancellations this past year due to COVID and less demand. It's not just Southwest - it's everyone. Domestic air travel was down about 50% this past year, and even more internationally, and they are predicting it won't get back to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or 2024.

 

https://www.unomaha.edu/news/2021/03/the-future-of-flight-in-a-post-covid-world.php 

 

--Jessica

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

nikkibruin
New Arrival

I'm having that problem right now.  Flight was changed and it added a 5 hour layover.  I called Southwest almost 3 hours ago and I haven't heard back.(The wait time was supposed to be 50 min).  Not happy with them right now.

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

bec102896
Top Contributor

@nikkibruin wrote:

I'm having that problem right now.  Flight was changed and it added a 5 hour layover.  I called Southwest almost 3 hours ago and I haven't heard back.(The wait time was supposed to be 50 min).  Not happy with them right now.


If you have Facebook or Twitter you can reach out to them in a DM. 

 

Also if you have the SW app you can use the chat feature and hold times are usually not to bad. 

 

-Blake

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

ScarlettandMatt
New Arrival

Not sure I am happy to hear others having the same problem or not. Our flight was changed from a non stop to now a layover in OH to get to Florida. I can maybe understand cancellations on some less traveled cities. But I am flying from Baltimore to Tampa. Both huge airlines. And today I check and there are direct flights still from BWI to TPA but they give our family a layover flight making a non stop trip of a couple hours now a 5 hours long flight. Unacceptable. 

And if anyone has been to the airport recently Covid isn't slowing things down. And like I said. There are other non stop morning flight showing available right now so why did you give my family a connecting flight......Very disappointed in Southwest. 

 

Re: Flight Cancellations and Rescheduling

jksobonya
Rising Star

Unfortunately flight changes are just a reality of the airline industry right now. I had a flight get moved up an entire day ... nonstop flights are becoming a luxury on almost every route from Philly that I take: Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Florida, anywhere ... very flew flights are nonstop anymore, and if I can find a nonstop flight, it's more expensive. 

 

--Jessica

RESCHEDULED FLIGHTS STILL SAYING. "SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

1Scarlett
New Arrival

Does everyone's rescheduled flight have this tag attached? It's complete insanity.

How can we keep adjusting plans  with the possibility of another change?

They can't guarantee anything. Why even take reservations? Why be open?

Many of us have funerals to attend, cemeteries to visit. So unfair.