More than 160 flights canceled, dozens more delayed at Austin airport
AUSTIN, Texas - Thousands of people stood in line at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Monday, Dec. 26 trying to book another flight after Southwest Airlines canceled 75 percent of its flights.
More than 160 flights have been canceled and dozens more are delayed on the day after Christmas due to the winter weather impacting much of the country.
"I was sitting next to the kiosk and my options dwindled every thirty minutes. They’re all booked apparently for three days or so," said Calin Hollas who was stuck at AUS.
The Schwennings from Pittsburg stood in the line to get to the Southwest Airlines counter for six hours.
"This is hell. I mean, we’re like in a twilight zone. We’re not even thinking correctly because we’re sleep-deprived, we’re not eating right," Kathleen Schwenning said.
Schwenning said they’ve been stuck in Austin since Friday.
"We missed Christmas with our son, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, we’ll never get that back again," Schwenning said.
They were trying to visit their son in California but didn’t even make it halfway.
"I really feel so stuck like we’ll never get home," Schwenning said.
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The Schwennings still don’t know when exactly they’ll be home, but know it will be at least a couple more days in the same clothes they arrived in. James Schwenning said Southwest Airlines doesn’t know where their luggage is.
Southwest Airlines said in a statement, "We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent. 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."
"Help us. There’s nobody helping us," Schwenning said.
In a statement, AUS said, "We appreciate our traveler’s patience as our airport partners work together to serve our customers during a challenging travel period for many. Travelers with canceled or delayed flights or missing luggage need to coordinate directly with their airline.
Southwest Airlines said customers with a reservation from Sunday, Dec. 25 through Monday, Jan. 2, may rebook in their original class of service or travel standby without any additional charge. Click here for more information.
"We’ll work to make things right for those we’ve let down, including our Employees," Southwest said.
Southwest Airlines said they anticipate additional changes with an already reduced level of flights as we approach the coming new year holiday travel period, and they’re working to contact customers with available options.