SAN DIEGO — Many travelers were left stranded at airports across the nation after Southwest Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights this weekend, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.
At the San Diego International Airport Sunday, at least seven Southwest flights were canceled with more than a dozen delays, according to the airport’s flight status tracker.
FlightAware, a website that provides real-time flight insights, found that 30% of the airline’s scheduled flights were canceled.
Southwest said in a tweet that an air traffic management program put in place due to weather caused significant delays, but some travelers had doubts about the airline’s explanation.
The Federal Aviation Administration said they haven’t had air traffic staffing shortages since Friday. They added some airlines are still experiencing “scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”
FOX 5 reached out to San Diego airport officials, but they said they were unaware of operational issues.
With no flights out of Chicago, passenger Beth Reed took a spontaneous trip to visit her parents in San Diego.
“We didn’t have any plans to come visit them,” she said. “We were supposed to go to Austin.”
Reed was told her flight was cancelled due to staffing issues in Jacksonville, Florida.
Another passenger, whose flight to Reno, Nevada Sunday evening was canceled, said she had to book a flight for Monday with a different airline.
“A little disappointing that I wasn’t able to fly home today,” Shelby Burdo said. “I got a text at 2 a.m. today for my flight tonight. I tried to call and it was like a two-hour wait to get through on the phones. I wasn’t able to get through. It’s been a total mess.”
An off-duty Southwest flight attendant told FOX 5 she is confused about why her flight was canceled. FOX 5 also reached out to Southwest for a comment, but have not yet heard back.