More than 100 Southwest Airlines flights were canceled Wednesday at Oakland International Airport as the airline plans to fly a reduced schedule over the next several days, airport and Southwest officials said.
Nearly 150 Southwest flights were canceled at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Wednesday. A similar number are canceled for Thursday. A duty manager at San Francisco International Airport could not immediately say how many Southwest flights were canceled or delayed there.
Southwest canceled more than 2,500 flights nationwide Wednesday, according to FlightAware, which provides live flight statistics by airline.
“They are trying to get things moving again,” Oakland International spokesperson John Albrecht said about Southwest.
He said Southwest appears to have adequate staff at the airport. Sixty-two of the cancellations at Oakland International were departures. Sixteen other flights were delayed as of Wednesday morning, Albrecht said.
He said the airport was calm and moderately busy with no lines.
Quite a few bags still need to be reunited with passengers, but Albrecht said Southwest has the baggage area “well-staffed.”
One-third of normal capacity
Oakland is home to the largest Southwest Airlines operation in California, with about 120 flights a day. Oakland also serves as a flight attendant and pilot base as well as a maintenance base for Southwest.
Southwest plans to operate roughly one-third of its schedule over the next several days, a spokesperson said Wednesday morning by email.
Customers can rebook or request a refund online. Southwest said it is also working to create a resource to reconnect passengers with their bags. More information on rebookings is available from the Southwest website.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday that he expects Southwest to meet its duties to its passengers and workers and to take steps to be sure something similar doesn’t occur in the future.
Flight attendants and pilots were stranded alongside passengers. Some had to sleep on cots while others had to book their own hotel rooms.
“Now we’ve never seen a situation, at least not on my watch, with this volume of disruptions so this is going to take an extraordinary level of effort by Southwest and we will mount an extraordinary effort to make sure that they’re meeting their obligations,” Buttigieg said through his press office.
Southwest said it was fully staffed and prepared for holiday travel last weekend. The airline said the severe weather caused changes to its flight schedule and the tools its staff members use to keep the airline operating at capacity.
Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the nation’s 25 largest travel markets.