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Southwest Airlines Community

Meltdown in Denver

Explorer C

Yes, I am stupid for trying to fly Southwest. 


I congratulate the members and their wonderful experiences, and hope you all had a lovely holiday in your wisdom. Perhaps you have no idea what's really happening (or your expectations are extremely low). Perhaps you could share something that would actually help the millions of us poor slobs who have been left wandering lost and stranded over the holidays, because the airline is NOT.


To be clear: SW is abruptly canceling flights with no notice, no contact, and no opportunity to re-book.


How dare I tried to rely on SW and fly over the holidays? I didn't buy a ticket to use stand-by tricks, which is why I didn't try to fly stand-by in the first place. I am not a fleeing refugee, just an American trying to have a holiday! I did not set nor over-promise on their schedule. Their meltdown is purely operational. How are they allowed to run this way? I wouldn't be surprised if a bankruptcy is coming.


What happened to me: I was waiting at my gate for a delayed flight (the app actually said arrive on time for my original flight because the status may change!). SW had texted me my flight was delayed, but by the time I got the text, the flight was already delayed again. By the time I got another text about the second delay, the flight had already been delayed multiple times again. I was tracking the flight on my phone, and all of the sudden it popped up canceled. I went to check the big board, and the flight simply disappeared off the board! I never got any other texts until they texted me 5 hours later that my flight was canceled. You think??


The app told me I was re-booked - but gave no info!? No contact whatsoever with new flight info. That last text directed me on-line to change my reservation myself. Problem being the on-line system wouldn't let me - said my flight was in the past even tho showing canceled. The customer service desks were all empty. I stood in three different lines at the gates for hours and hours, and was never even able to talk to even one agent! The lines never moved. I could not even get close to the very few agents there. Another customer told me an agent said their computers were down. I already knew all the other flights were full for (by then) the night, so I went home. Thankfully, I live in Denver and didn't check bags. (Sure, two bags fly free - but by themselves & to who knows where??)


I never would have guessed they would simply just stop answering their phones. I've been on hold continuously since Christmas Eve, when I was supposed to fly out. I've been on hold for 2 hours, 4 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, etc, etc, then just dumped. ("Just hang up? not funny). I think they just purge their lines every so often. As the days pass, they are still canceling flights and I helplessly watch the few remaining seats disappear before my eyes. 


Apparently, the deadline to re-book is tomorrow. The customer service email with a 7-10 day response is not helpful. The 'live' chat on the app is a useless bot. I guess I have no other option but to go to the airport in person and stand in another 4 hour line to be told they can't help me??


It's ridiculous they tell us to be prepared (and we were), but they were NOT. Crazy lines everywhere with no organization whatsoever. You couldn't even tell what the lines were for or where they went. I stood in one line for an hour, then they 'reorganized' the line, and I wound up at the end again! I met a woman travelling alone with her young children who had been there for 8 hours; an old woman stranded in a wheelchair at the gate where they canceled her flight; people all over missing their connections; and on and on. No one lost their cool, except the severely under-staffed airline employees. Sure, they are not baby-sitters, but they gave no assistance to the passengers they stranded.


Yes: poor employees; poor weather-impacted folks; poor everybody else with problems. Sure, weather caused planes to park or divert; but whoever is running operations in Denver is PATENTLY INCOMPETENT. This airline that relies heavily on technology to replace customer service has worse technology than my dog groomer!





Re: Meltdown in Denver

Adventurer C

The asskissers here trying to be encouraging are saying don’t call, chat. You know the chat that says is unavailable. 

Southwest has burned all the good will I had. I was a loyal flyer with them. I am done, they will probably never get their good graces back, hopefully with tens of thousands of people. They will be the airline of last resort. 

The CEO should have been fired this morning. A PR rep should have already announced what they are doing to make this right.


The fanboys here are gaslighting you. It isn’t weather, Delta and United have had single digit percentage of flights canceled since the 23rd. 

SWA own internal memos admit it isn’t weather:


In fact last month the CEO admitted he has ignored infrastructure for growth. That’s a huge no no for a logistics company. 




Re: Meltdown in Denver

Explorer C

not the SW of old, surely? (I wouldn't know.) also not the only airline to experience labor shortages. my read is that they had all their planes out of place due to staffing 'issues', then the weather hit & they had no redundancies, let alone adequate planning or scheduling to start with. then all the flight staff they forced in started timing out. they're still blaming the weather. news just said if you actually know your bag is in arriving baggage claim in Denver by some miracle (or tracking device!), go claim it (good luck). showed nightmarish pictures of unclaimed baggage area. SW lines still long and growing as the situation continues to escalate - like 2 hrs to check bags at 5 am (only 2? haha -- but don't do it!!!!). even if you skip the front end, you'll get canceled and stranded in the terminal. I'm not going through that again. I think I'm actually in shock and going on-and-on, but it's all so surreal. especially listening to their hold music for like 36 hours straight. their failure is impacting all the other airlines too. I lucked into a ticket for later in the week (but still!) on who I should have gone with in the first place, turns out the 'old model' actually works under pressure. thanks for the talk therapy lol!

Re: Meltdown in Denver

Explorer A

>>The app told me I was re-booked - but gave no info!? No contact whatsoever with new flight info. That last text directed me on-line to change my reservation myself. Problem being the on-line system wouldn't let me - said my flight was in the past even tho showing canceled.<<


This exact thing happened to me in July, and even when I went to the airport (RSW) the next day and asked a ticket agent, she was as flummoxed as I was.  There is something wrong with that app/interface.