The real reason Southwest is having a meltdown.

As you may have heard, Southwest is having a meltdown. At this point, it’s old news that winter weather caused thousands of flight cancellations this weekend but Southwest remains in the hot seat after canceling over 5,000 flights and counting. Here’s why the airline can’t recover like the rest of ‘em. 

It started with the storm

Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan released a memo to employees revealing how things got so bad. “We started off with the Winter Storm Elliott that really put pressure on our ground operations. The extreme cold weather made us limit the amount of time our ground operations staff were exposed. We started to see equipment freeze, jet bridges freeze, fuel congeal, and as a result, we had to modify our network, sometimes shutting down crew bases operations for a while.”

Then it became an issue with bad technology 

Once the storm had finished, the issue then became re-crewing and manually rescheduling staff.”We had people that were legal. We had aircrafts that were available, but the process of matching up those crew members with the aircraft could not be handled by our technology. In our desired state, we have a solver that would be able to do that very quickly and very accurately. Our system today cannot do that,” the memo reads. 

And now Southwest will operate at a much lower capacity

In the days to come, the airline plans to “rotate into multiple days of a lower level of activity,” so that Southwest can recover from its issues. By Tuesday, it was reported that an estimated 5,400 Southwest flights had been canceled within 48 hours.

President Biden has urged customers to check if they’re eligible for compensation, and noted that the administration is working to make Southwest, and other airlines, held accountable. The US Department of Transportation is also investigating.

Customers on social media aren’t taking the news lightly, with stranded passengers sharing their grim experiences with the internet, including piles of luggage taking over airport baggage claim floors.

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