We received a text on 3/13, saying our flight from Seattle to New Orleans for my friend’s wedding had been cancelled. Southwest had no options for us to get to New Orleans, so we had to miss the wedding. They booked us on a flight home to Ft Myers from Seattle on Monday March 18th, which was the first available flight home from Seattle. It happened to also be the flight that our son and 2 granddaughters were on, to come visit us for their spring break. On Sunday morning, March 17, we received a text saying the flights for the 18th were cancelled. After calling in, we were able to get a flight for my wife and I to Tampa on the 19th. We were unable to get us all ticketed, so our family’s trip to visit us for spring break had to be postponed indefinitely. These cancellations effectively ruined two vacations for my wife and I, plus spring break for our family. Not only was Southwest unable to re route us, but they have no reciprocity on other airlines. I understand that the grounding of airplanes impacted our travel, but what I don’t understand is that these routes were flown before the max planes were used. What planes were used before? This is an unacceptable situation with an unaccceptable solution.
The problem is that the Max8s comprise about 5% of Southwest's fleet. That's 5% fewer flights that the airline can fly. Sure the airline has a few "spare" aircraft that it keeps in reserve in case planes it needs them, but it's nowhere near 5% of it's fleet.
So the unfortunate, but honest, answer is that there were just not enough planes to fly all scheduled routes..
@Seversos1 on behalf of Southwest Airlines, I'm so sorry your Spring Break plans were compromised. We doing our best to operate our schedule with as little negative impact as possible to our Customers, but the reduction in our fleet has resulted in delays and cancellations. I know we can't give you back the trip you had planned with your family, but I hope this unusual situation and these unusual circumstances will not overshadow the good Customer Service experiences you've had with us in the past. It is our sincere hope that we'll be able to be able to serve you again in the future and provide better travel memories.
Lindsey Community Manager The Southwest Airlines Community