More weekend travel headaches: Southwest Airlines cancels 200+ flights, delays hundreds more

Southwest Airlines has canceled more than 200 weekend flights and delayed hundreds of others, the continuation of a rough month for the nation’s largest domestic carrier and its passengers.

Southwest canceled 156 Friday flights – far more than any U.S. carrier – and has already canceled 67 Saturday flights, according to flight tracker FlightAware. 

Tardy flights are a big issue, too: Southwest has 541 delayed Friday flights, or 15% of its flights, according to FlightAware.

The issues come a week after Southwest canceled or delayed hundreds of flights due to two separate technology issues and a week after American Airlines struggled with operational woes during the busy Father’s Day travel weekend and said it would proactively cancel nearly 1,000 July flights to give it more breathing room when weather and other issues crop up.  

Why are Southwest flights canceled today

Southwest spokesman Dan Landson said the airline canceled flights ahead of summer storms. 

“To proactively manage our operation, we implemented a scheduled reduction ahead of expected storms and probable air traffic control initiatives,” he said in a statement.

He did not specify any storms, but the airline’s representatives on Twitter have been telling frustrated passengers the issues include residual effects of Thursday storms in Chicago and Denver, for example.

Landon said travelers are being rebooked on other flights. But some travelers are finding the next flight isn’t always the same day given the busy summer travel season.

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