Southwest is having its worst Christmas season ever

Southwest Airlines is not doing well this Christmas-New Years holiday period so far.

Southwest is leading all U.S. airlines in cancelled flights for this holiday period.

The carrier has cancelled over 8,000 flights for the period.

Thousands of its customers have been displaced. Many holiday plans were disrupted.

According to flight tracking website Southwest had 2,495 out of 2,809 total cancellations for all U.S. carriers.

Southwest issued this update:

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.

And our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning.

We’re working with Safety at the forefront to urgently address wide-scale disruption by rebalancing the airline and repositioning Crews and our fleet ultimately to best serve all who plan to travel with us.

We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S. These operational conditions forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams use to recover the airline operating at capacity.

This safety-first work is intentional, ongoing, and necessary to return to normal reliability, one that minimizes last-minute inconveniences. 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. And we’re working to reach Customers whose travel plans will change to offer specific information and available options, also available at

Our Employees and Crews scheduled to work this holiday season are showing up in every single way. We are beyond grateful for that. Our shared goal is to take care of every single Customer with the Hospitality and Heart for which we’re known.

On the other side of this, we’ll work to make things right for those we’ve let down, including our Employees.

With no concern higher than ultimate Safety, the People of Southwest share a goal to take care of each and every Customer. We recognize falling short and sincerely apologize.

Go deeper with the Houston Chronicle:

Go deeper from NPR:

Go deeper from the New York Times:

Southwest will see improving conditions at its hubs (expecially Chicago Midway) through January 2, 2023:

Top Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8770Q (msn 67517) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 959753.

Southwest aircraft photo gallery: