‘Our fate is in their hands’: Flight cancellations, delays cause holiday headaches at San Antonio International Airport

Vast majority of cancelations are Southwest Airlines flights

UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday said it will investigate the hundreds of flight delays and cancellations that many travelers are facing regarding Southwest Airlines amid a recent winter storm.

The DOT sent out a tweet saying it “is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service.”

The Department will also examine whether the cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.

Southwest Airlines issued an apology on their website, saying “we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and please know we have all available hands on deck working to serve our customers.”

Customers have been complaining that they are also forced to wait on the phones between two to four hours before getting a live representative to help them. According to the company’s website, domestic flights aren’t available for booking until after New Year’s Eve, leaving thousands of people across the country stranded.

The airline issued a travel advisory update, addressing the high call volumes and busy signals. The statement read in part:

“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 is 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.”

On Tuesday, more than two dozen Southwest Airlines flights either coming to or departing from San Antonio were cancelled. You can find current flight statuses by clicking here.

San Antonio International Airport officials issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“San Antonio International Airport and our airline partners remain in constant communication. While the issues are being resolved, we encourage our passengers to check with their airline before arriving at the airport. We apologize for any inconveniences our travelers have experienced. We are committed to providing smooth experiences for everyone using our airport.”

WATCH NIGHTBEAT COVERAGE: Travelers frustrated over Southwest cancellations, delays at San Antonio International

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(Original Story)

Hundreds of travelers faced flight delays or cancelations at San Antonio International Airport over the Christmas weekend, largely due to weather.

On Monday morning, more than a dozen flights were canceled at SAT, with the vast majority being Southwest Airlines flights. Some were departures but more were arrivals. Find current flight statuses here.

That adds to several local delays and cancellations from days prior.

Long lines could be seen at Southwest’s ticketing area on Monday morning.

Nicole Lewis is one of hundreds of people who are stuck at the airport Monday because of canceled flights.

“We’re just waiting for our fates kind of in their hands at this point,” Lewis said. “I don’t have a lot of time off of work. So the time that we do get, we just want to be able to relax.”

Chris Perry, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, said the company and its customers are “still experiencing disruptions across our network as a result of Winter Storm Elliott’s lingering effects on the totality of our operation.”

He said he was unable to provide numbers specific to San Antonio International Airport.

“With the weather now considerably more favorable, we continue work to stabilize and improve our operation,” Perry wrote in a statement to KSAT 12. “We are re-accommodating as many Customers as possible, based on available space, whose itineraries have been disrupted. Those whose flights have been canceled may request a full refund or receive a flight credit, which does not expire.

Shervin Nooshin said that wasn’t good enough for his situation.

“We purposely booked a place where we knew it was not going to be weather issues, but we’re still facing the same the same thing,” he said.

“They tried to reschedule for different, different days, but obviously we already booked hotels and we have plans and everything. So we’re here in line hoping that they can do something for us,” Nooshin said.

The other issue is customer service delays.

Southwest Airlines said it is experiencing an “abnormally high call volume,” so the lines are busy and travelers say they could not make changes online. Instead, travelers waited in line for hours at the airport.

“Hopefully we can get a flight at least some part today. Well, I don’t care what part it is, as long as it’s today,” Caleb Caro said.

Over the Christmas weekend, travelers across the country faced thousands of flight delays and cancelations, including more than 3,000 on Christmas Day, according to CNN.

Read next: San Antonio’s top 5 weather events of 2022


About the Authors:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.