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How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

emcadam2
New Arrival

I'm taking a trip at the beginning of May. 3/4 planes were always set as 737-700s but one (the very last leg) was scheduled on a MAX 8 and switched to 737-800. How far in advance would I likely be notified of a potential cancellation? Are certain flights being cancelled more often? I am a young and nervous traveler and am dreading being stranded somewhere. This is my intinerary:

BUF-BWI-JAX
JAX-FLL-BUF

 

Seeing all these less than 24h cancellations is freaking me out !!

14 REPLIES 14

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

bec102896
Rising Star

From what I have seen here in the community it looks like they are canceling flights about 5 days ahead of time. I know Southwest announced the MAX would be out of service until at least the end of May so I’m guessing they are working through the schedule and canceling those affected flights as soon as they can so you can get rebooked on an alternate flight. Being that your aircraft type changed I’m guessing they have swapped the plane in hopes that they won’t have to cancel the flight. 

 

The last minute cancellations you are seeing probably have to do with weather or last minute swaps of planes or crews. 

 

I recommend watching your email as that will be how they let you know of a cancellation and you can also check your reservation on the SW app in case there is a change made to your flight. 

 

-Blake 

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@emcadam2, I empathize with your nervousness,  as I have put several family members on future flights.  As @bec102896 mentioned, there are occasionally weather or mechanical reasons for changes to the times, crafts or crews, and I expect that with the Max 8’s out of commission, that it is harder to cover adjustments when needed.  

 

Lately though, there are so many postings on this board from new arrivals re cancellations that I am starting to wonder if SWA is getting trolled on these boards. Few are providing flight numbers or times, just locations.  No one (out of six flights) that I knew had any problems flying in March other than weather, thankfully.  It is not a huge sample size but all were longer haul flights.

 

Travel is never guaranteed to be smooth, and it is so frustrating when it is not, but I am not going to reschedule my family’s flights because I trust Southwest’s people to do their best to make it as painless as possible.  That has been my decades of experience with them, so I expect that will continue. 

 

I know that doesn’t completely sooth your worries (or my own) but I hope that hearing about recent March flights that had no problems might help a bit. Good news doesn’t get posted as much as bad news, but there is still more of the former than the latter.

 

I hope your travels go smoothly.  Have fun in JAX.

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@emcadam2, the fickle karma bug just landed on my head.  I got an email a few minutes ago that those late May flights are being rescheduled to 5 hours later.  So that means they are looking at the schedule very far in advance.  Hope that gives some comfort about last minute cancellations.


 

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

emcadam2
New Arrival

@CareforNOLA oh nooo!! That's unfortunate I'm sorry Smiley Sad but hopefully that means I'm in the clear, because I'm flying May 1-11. May I ask what flights they were?

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

SWDigits
Active Member
Solution
Southwest has been quoted in recent articles that they are working to update the flight schedule through the end of May.

"Mainz said passengers should see fewer last-minute cancellations due to the reduced flight schedule announced Friday, which gives it more time to notify travelers than the five days or shorter window they had been using, as well as other moves Southwest is making to restore 'brand-standard reliability.'"

Source:
https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/3311708002

Southwest customer | Home airport DCA | Community Chamption

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

MauiWowi57
New Arrival

That's very good news (that they're at least trying to revise/rationalize the schedule two months out, operating under the presumption that the Max aircraft won't return to service anytime in the forseable future). 

 

I'll guess that as I have a flight booked on 1 June, that I'll know for 'sure' anytime in the next few weeks - but  - how do we find out that the rolling schedule revision has cleared us? Obviously if you get a 'cancel' you know (and like everyone else here, seems like since I'm going on a cruise I have totally inflexible travel plans), but do you get positive confirmation that they've looked at your flights, confirmed the aircraft type (mine's been listed as a 737-700 in TRIPIT), and everything's ok? 

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

SWDigits
Active Member

@MauiWowi57 even without the MAX 8 grounding nothing is a "sure" thing given that any flight could be cancelled due to weather, maintenance, or some other crazy reason.

 

A few thoughts to potentially mitigate any crazy last minute issues:

 

  • How much of a buffer do you have?  Flying out the day prior?
  • Are there multiple daily Southwest flights between your departure and arrival airports?
  • Given that you are taking a cruise with no flexibility you may want to consider travel insurance.

Safe travels!


Southwest customer | Home airport DCA | Community Chamption

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

MauiWowi57
New Arrival

To quote the old Irishman, "The name's O'Toole, not O'Fool." I always plan to fly into a cruise port the night before; and was already planning to fly in TWO nights before this time. 

I've been flying zillions of miles for six decades, I'm understanding of weather and (most) maintenance issues.  Flying SWA this past February was rough due to the "maintenance issues," which were compounded onto legitimate weather delays in Florida.

The good thing here is I COULD drive this one; but I'd like to know more than 48 hours in advance. 

Re: How far in advance are flights being cancelled?

SWDigits
Active Member

@MauiWowi57 wrote:

To quote the old Irishman, "The name's O'Toole, not O'Fool." I always plan to fly into a cruise port the night before; and was already planning to fly in TWO nights before this time. 



+1, perfect. You should be all set.

I didn't want to make any assumptions as others here in the discussion forums have not taken your same approach... and were upset when things didn't work out.

Southwest customer | Home airport DCA | Community Chamption