Southwest back to normal operations

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y.(NEWS10) – After a massive winter storm crippled flights across the country just before Christmas, with Southwest airline travelers impacted the most, airlines are back to normal operations.

Southwest has cancelled thousands of flights for days, nearly 11,000 altogether.  But now the airline says they are operating a normal schedule and anticipating minimal disruptions for the weekend. Which includes the New Year’s holiday.  

“Southwest Airlines is operating our normal schedule on Friday, Dec. 30. We appreciate the dedicated work of the Southwest Team to restore our schedule, and we anticipate minimal disruptions for the weekend.” –Southwest Airlines

But it took a lot to get back to a normal schedule, and travelers shared their frustrations with NEWS10.

“So, we got notified at 3:50 a.m. in Phoenix on Tuesday morning. We were supposed to leave yesterday Thursday at 7:30 a.m. So, Tuesday to Thursdays is two days and we tried to call Southwest and no answer,” said Lisa Petty.

“I think for me I was super lucky. I didn’t have to find out at the airport. I was staying with family, so it was a lot easier than I think a lot of people had,” said April Collister.

Some folks tell NEWS10 that they made it home by other modes of transportation yet, their luggage did not have as much luck.

“We were vacationing in Calgary, Canada and we had to fly back. But the whole trip there was a disaster too! We almost didn’t make it the trip. We get there and, on our way back we get rerouted through Montreal. Then we had to connect in LaGuardia to Albany. We get to Montreal, missed the connection and couldn’t get home for almost another 24 hours,” said Jamie and John Forsyth.

‘’We were told by customs in Montreal that are bags are, they see the bags, they’re going to be on the next flight everything’s great kosher. So, we come in when they were supposed to arrive. The next day no bags. That was the 21st of December,” said the Forsyths.

The Forsyths striking out once more as their luggage is now “somewhere” in the U.S. The airline told them that they have no idea where the Christmas gift filled luggage has traveled to, now.

On average people tell NEWS10 it cost $500 to $800 to change flights, rent cars and pay for baggage on new flights.

“Ticket prices were going up within five minutes. We saw, [people were] paying $400 to $600 but we decided that we’d go with Delta and here we are. It was very easy curbside. Today, we did have to pay for baggage,” said Petty.

“[We paid] at least $500 or $600. So, then we had around $300 for the rental car,” said Jamie Forsyth.

Reimbursements and refunds will depend on the airline of choice as each airline has different values in place.