WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The impacts of Friday’s storm are still being felt at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport.
Thousands of Southwest Airlines flights across the country were canceled Monday, including most out of Rhode Island, leaving holiday travelers stranded.
“It’s just really frustrating because we just want to get home,” said Stephanie Roth of Washington, D.C., who was visiting family in Rhode Island.
Roth said she didn’t find out that her flight to D.C. had been canceled until she was through security.
“We left to come here and the flight was on time. We got here and it was delayed, and then, while we were waiting at the gate, we found out the flight had been canceled,” Roth said.
The cancellations continued into Tuesday morning at T.F. Green where nine arrivals and nine departures were canceled, according to the airport’s website.
As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, Southwest had the most cancelations of any airline. According to FlightAware, the airline had canceled 62% of its flights, which is down from 71% on Monday.
At T.F. Green, the line at the Southwest ticket counter was lengthy as travelers looked to make different plans. Some opted to take Amtrak to their destinations, while others rented vehicles.
Some travelers like Dominick Martin of Florida spent the whole weekend trying to get home to visit family, and still haven’t made it.
“I was supposed to be in Albany at 5 o’clock on Christmas Day, and now I’m in Providence, Rhode Island,” Martin said.
In a statement Monday, Southwest Airlines blamed the storm for the ongoing issue, starting out the statement with “heartfelt apologies.”
“We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S.,” Southwest said. “These operational conditions forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams use to recover the airline operating at capacity.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said Monday night that it would examine Southwest Airlines’ mass flight cancellations and delays.
“USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service,” the statement read. “The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.”
Some travelers told 12 News they were offered a flight voucher or a flight out on Dec. 31.