PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As Southwest Airlines cancellations stretch into yet another day at Portland International Airport and at other airports across the nation, the airline has created a page on its website where customers can rebook or request a refund. The company told KOIN 6 News the site is “continually being enhanced to serve customers.”
Southwest Airlines flight attendant Corliss King, who is with TWU Local 556 union for Southwest flight attendants, said they have “consistently pushed management for its improvements in our technology.”
King, who has been with Southwest for two decades, told KOIN 6 News the current cancellation debacle is being caused by what she said is the airline’s antiquated scheduling system.
“That’s as simple as it gets. It comes down to not our schedulers, not the people who answer the phones, but the capacity limits on the systems because the airline has grown so much,” she said. “We’re the number one carrier. We’re the largest domestic carrier in the country. So we’ve grown our airline, but our operation has to grow with it.”
KOIN 6 News reached out to Southwest again on Wednesday with several questions, including some about the technology King and fellow flight attendants and pilots are alleging failed.
The company responded and directed KOIN to an online video statement from the CEO, which said in part, “We’re doing everything we can to return to a normal operation and please also hear that I am truly sorry.”
In Portland, Southwest Airlines passenger Zoe Clute said she’s had friends who have gotten stuck all over the country, where they spent Christmas. Fortunately, Clute said she flew into to Portland to be with her family right before the ice storm.
She said she thinks she’s one of the lucky ones and that Southwest’s cancellation issues haven’t impacted her return flight to California, which is scheduled for Friday and until then, she’s keeping her fingers crossed.
“I think I’m still worried if I will get back on time based on how many flights are available,” she said.