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Southwest flight cancelation fiasco affecting Coastal Bend tourists and locals

Southwest cancelations affecting locals
Posted at 9:52 PM, Dec 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-27 22:52:03-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Post-holiday travelers experienced relatively smooth operations at the Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA), with the exception of those who booked with Southwest Airlines.

Southwest has been experiencing a flight cancelation fiasco after Christmas.

About 4,000 domestic U.S. flights were canceled Monday, according to the tracking website FlightAware, and 2,900 of those were Southwests.

Nearly 2,500 more flights had already been canceled as of 5 a.m. Tuesday and problems are likely to continue at least into Wednesday.

To learn more about the Federal Government's investigation into the issue click here.

The Southwest travel troubles affected both Coastal bend tourists and locals.

Corpus Christi resident, Brandon Stewart had his bags packed to catch a flight to Louisianna. Stewart said he found out his plans had to change on Tuesday morning.

"We had a family trip to meet up with our daughter in New Orleans for the new year, but we found out today all flights out of Southwest have been canceled," he said.

KRIS 6 News spoke with Erin Wiseman, a Corpus Christi visitor, from Alabama. She traveled to the Coastal Bend to be with family for Christmas. When she was getting ready to go home after the holiday, Southwest sent her a text to cancel her flight a day before it was supposed to take off.

"We were checking our flight status last night and everything looked good last night, and this morning is when it hit and we were like, "oh man!", she said.

Both travelers said Southwest gave them the option to book another flight, however, the earliest a flight was available was after the new year, on Jan.2.

"I have to work, so I couldn't really wait until then," Wiseman said.

Most travelers KRIS 6 news spoke with chose to get a refund and rent a car to reach their destinations.

For Brandon Stewart, that meant he had a nine-hour drive ahead of him, so he could spend time with his family in New Orleans.

He said, he would also have to extend his hotel stay by one more day. Once he's ready to return from his vacation, he plans to fly back to Corpus Christi with United Airlines.

Wiseman has to drive to Charleston, South Carolina before she heads home because she drove there from her home and flew to Corpus Christi. She anticipates she'll spend a total of 24 hours driving home, and plans to break up her travel time into two days.

CCIA advises people to be aware of their flight status.

Flights arriving and departing from CCIA can be tracked by clicking here.