No doubt about it.
For everyone except Santa and his reindeer, flying this holiday has been a mess.
There’s so much snow in upstate New York that Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) is staying closed until at least 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 28.
And the airport’s award-winning snow removal team is so overwhelmed with snow that is has called on other airports to help them deal with this blizzard.
“Our crews are working around the clock and @PITairport will be sending additional snow plowing equipment to assist our team,” the airport shared in a Tweet.
Southwest Airlines Meltown
Thousands of flights have been canceled and all airlines are having a tough time getting passengers and their suitcases from here to there.
But Southwest Airlines operations seem to have broken down – or frozen up – completely.
At 1 am Tuesday morning, FlightAware.com was showing more than 2,600 cancellations within, into, or out of the United States, with most of those being on Southwest Airlines alone.
The airline cancelled more than 2900 flights on Monday and has already canceled 2460 flights for Tuesday.
The next few days may get even worse.
In a media release late Monday, Southwest said, “With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our Customers and Employees in a significant way that is unacceptable.”
The airline said “our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning.” But it added: “As we continue the work to recover our operation, we have made the decision to continue operating a reduced schedule by flying roughly one third of our schedule for the next several days.”
But it may be more serious than that.
Tweets like this were shared Tuesday night from cities all over the country confirming that Southwest customers are being told no flights will be rebooked until after December 31.
As in “next year.”
That means that a lot of people whose flights have already been canceled are going to have to wait even longer to get on a plane.
The Department of Transportation has taken notice, calling Southwest’s rate of cancellations and delays and report of poor customer service “unacceptable” and saying it “will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”