More than 2,500 flights were again canceled this Wednesday in the United States.
The polar cold continues to impact the country and after days of chaos, the problem persists at the airports. The most impacted are the passengers of the Southwest airline, which is experiencing one of the worst collapses in decades.
The delays and cancellations have caused the rage of thousands of travelers, some of them traveling since before Christmas, such as Bill Gem from Texas: “Four airports, two airlines, four plane tickets, three days late.”
The company has said it could take days for business to return to normal, with thousands of planes already canceled for Thursday as well. Compared to the other airlines, Southwest, with its unique operating system, was unable to get its planes back on the air after the storm.
The situation is so critical that the company’s president, Bob Jordan, apologized to the public and blamed glitches in the operating system: “We decided to significantly reduce our flights to catch up. We are focused on putting all the pieces back in place safely, to end this vicious cycle.”
Southwest Airlines is also under the White House’s scrutiny. President Joe Biden tweeted that he was working to ensure airlines were “responsible” or responsive to passenger issues. Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned of consequences for the company’s inefficiency: “Not only will Southwest have to answer financially for everything, but it also has to find a way to really rebuild trust. A Once again, they promised me that they will do that.”
The ravages of the storm are still evident in the rising death toll, especially in the Buffalo area. In 12 states, there are already 56 deaths, and the authorities have launched other alerts for possible flooding in the coming days, when all the snow will begin to melt.