Southwest Airlines travel chaos impacting New Year’s Eve plans for 49ers-Raiders fans, heading to Las Vegas

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Santa Clara, California (KGO) — Football fans planning to fly south to watch the San Francisco 49ers take on the Las Vegas Raiders are crossing the Bay Area, scattered in the turmoil of Southwest Airlines’ myriad trips, and re-evaluating their itineraries. Have to. The game is on New Year’s Day.

But many told ABC7 News that they feel the convenience comes at a price.

“It was supposed to be tonight,” Ken Guanga said Wednesday. “We were supposed to go tonight.”

Guanga, the man behind the social media “49ers Tailgate” account, has spoken out about the cancellation of Southwest flights from Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to Las Vegas.

MORE: Southwest travel woes continue at SJC as travelers crave rental cars

Known for tailgates and fan takeover highlight reels, his itinerary would have included a record 49ers-Raiders fanfare this weekend. The team will face Allegiant at his stadium on Sunday.

“Everything else has been bought. Plane tickets have been bought, hotels have been booked. It’s my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration,” he explained.

A long drive was not an option for Guanga, especially with the expected rain on the weekend. Instead, he and his family are choosing to stay grounded.

Southwest travel disruptions no doubt affected Christmas weekend for many.

Video: Here’s how to get a refund if your Southwest Airlines flight is cancelled.

SJC Deputy Director Scott Wintner told ABC7 News, “I think travelers who have been affected have either stayed home or canceled their trips altogether, knowing what was happening.”

But Randy Mustaler said he’s been focused on the game since the 49ers’ schedule was announced.

“Now that we know New Year’s is over, we have solidified our New Year’s plans to go to the 49ers-Raiders game in Vegas. We were excited to have 25 people go,” Musterer explained. “And now we are worried about flights.”

MORE: Southwest groundworkers call out unreasonable demands amid meltdown

His southwest flight from SJC is scheduled for Saturday morning and has not yet been cancelled. But after days of travel meltdowns, he hasn’t taken his chances.

“We’re going to use the money we spent on those tickets – we gotta go, so we’re flying United at this point regardless of what Southwest does on that particular flight.” he explained.

More information: What should I do if my package is delayed, lost or damaged?

Around the Bay Area, Southwest Airlines has already canceled flights to LAS between Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose International Airports ahead of Thursday.

“We Niners fans know that we go on a trip,” Guanga recalled. “But there are too many factors working against us to make this trip a reality for so many of our fans.”

If you’re using the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

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