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Mass Southwest Airlines cancellation causes chaos.

Southwest Airlines’ widespread cancellations have disrupted vacation plans across the country, stranding travelers and causing chaos at some airports.

The airline cited extreme weather in many parts of the country as the reason, adding in a statement that “our sincere apologies for this are just beginning… We recognize that we have failed and we sincerely apologize.”

Southwest did not disclose how many flights were canceled. But many media outlets and the air force say about two-thirds of the fights have been canceled. Flightware’s website puts the number at more than 2,800.

The US Department of Transportation said Monday it was “concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable cancellation and delay rates and reports of a lack of prompt customer service.” The department will investigate whether the cancellations were controllable and whether Southwest adhered to its customer service plan.

Frustrated fliers, including those at LAX, reported hours-long lines, lost luggage and unmanned flights after most Southwest routes were canceled or delayed — and some were told not to expect a flight home for days.

Those on interstate flights chased rental cars, opting for long drives instead of waiting at the airport.

What was supposed to be an hour and a half flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles on Monday turned into a six-hour drive for Matt Grippi. He was in a rush to make an international flight scheduled for Tuesday and didn’t believe Southwest would get him to LAX on time.

His only options were breaks of up to 26 hours, which cost thousands of dollars, he said.

“Every possible flight that I could have taken home today has been canceled,” Grippi said. “Communication from Southwest was terrible. I’m not sure I’ll ever trust them again.”

In a statement Monday, Southwest Airlines cited “extreme winter weather” across the country and called the disruptions “unacceptable.”

The company said it was working to redeploy flight crew to “return to normal reliability” but hinted that flights may continue to experience changes over the New Year holiday.

“On the other side of this, we will work to make things right for those we have failed, including our employees,” the company said.

Mike Bolen said in a tweet that his flight at Oakland International Airport was canceled due to a lack of crew and called the situation a “total collapse.”

“I fly a lot and I’ve never seen anything like this.” “Every flight is cancelled/’delayed,'” he said.

Twitter user Maria Wiles said she waited eight hours at San Francisco International Airport to learn her flight had been canceled after arriving there at 5:30 a.m. Monday.

Maya Polon was one of the few Southwest customers to walk out of the Hollywood Burbank Airport on Monday after her original flight on Sunday was canceled twice. She spent three hours at the airport trying to get a new flight after Southwest’s website and app failed.

“The only way to get rebooked is to go to the airport and talk to the man,” Polon, 28, said.

Meanwhile, her mother, Emily Paine, was on hold with Southwest for four hours, trying to help her. Polon successfully got a flight back to Sacramento by 2 p.m., but some of her fellow hopefuls were told they wouldn’t get a flight home until at least Wednesday, she said. Polon said people at the scene were angry, and police intervened in an altercation between a passenger and Southwest staff.



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