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Southwest Cancelation Nightmare Sends Ripples Across Travel Industry

  • Southwest Airlines canceled thousands more flights Wednesday as the wave of travel disruption continued.
  • The woes of airlines are starting to ripple through the travel industry.
  • Stuck passengers face shortages of rental cars and ongoing delays.

The disruption from Southwest Airlines’ ongoing cancellations has rippled across the travel industry, indirectly affecting many passengers beyond the thousands of Southwest travelers who have already been displaced. . Many of them are stranded at airports across the US after a string of flight cancellations.

Southwest accounted for more than 80% of the more than 3,000 flight cancellations in the US on Wednesday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. The company said Tuesday that affected passengers will not be able to rebook flights until Saturday, December 31.

A deadly winter storm that swept across the country over the weekend ruined the plans of hordes of vacationers, but Southwest Airlines’ outdated and atypical system has kept the airline from the effects of the conditions. airline experts said on Tuesday.

While many airlines appeared to be returning to normal operations earlier in the week, Southwest Airlines’ woes are now seeping through the travel ecosystem, with other domestic airlines and car rental companies seeing surging demand. I am forced to make an effort to respond to

Other airlines are caught in the Southwest’s snowball effect

Waleska Rivera, 43, doesn’t have a Southwest Airlines ticket, but she still blames the airline for her travel mishaps, she told Insider on Wednesday.

The Colorado woman and her family had been booked on a JetBlue flight from Denver to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and were due to depart late Tuesday night via New York. Rivera said he no longer had the chance to announce a delay in the journey and render the connection to New York useless.

Wanting to reach out to her injured mother in Puerto Rico, Rivera called to try to reschedule as soon as possible.

“The first thing JetBlue told me was to cancel my trip,” Rivera said. I got

Rivera is desperate to reach out to her elderly mother, who had a fall earlier this month, and is asking for rebooking, refunds and anything else to ease her frustration. did not offer to rebook the family on , nor did JetBlue offer any compensation.

The earliest Rivera could rebook to Puerto Rico was this Friday, she said. I told her that I had inadvertently turned away a JetBlue passenger who needed a reservation.

A JetBlue spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Thousands of stranded passengers have switched to other airlines as Southwest Airlines’ operations have effectively ceased, driving demand for air tickets soaring during one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

twitter user shared screenshot Amidst the chaos, exorbitant ticket prices on several different airlines Over $2,000 In some cases, it has sparked accusations of price increases for single domestic tickets.

american airlines and Delta both said they would limit fares in some cities, but ticket prices continued to rise on Wednesday as demand increased. Nexstar DC on Wednesday He is in talks with airlines to prevent them from taking passengers.

Southwest Florida International Airport

Spencer Pratt/Getty Images

Uproar is no longer limited to air travel

Stranded Southwestern passengers are increasingly turning to other forms of travel as they seek solutions, leading to a shortage of rental cars at airports across the country.

According to WBALTV-1, several car rental companies at Baltimore-Washington International Airport were completely out of rental cars on Tuesday, despite desperate passengers waiting in line for hours to secure transportation. .

St. Louis travelers faced similar struggles. Passengers who couldn’t secure a car before supplies ran out spent the night on the floor of Midway Airport, while others sought out strangers and carpooled, he reported, KTVI.

A manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Houston told KRIV that desperate people paid $1,000 to $2,000 to get a car before the store ran out of cars.

A spokesperson for Enterprise Holdings, which oversees Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo, told Insider on Wednesday. A “big jump” for a one-sided rental request.

A Hertz representative echoed the sentiment in a statement to Insider, saying the company is coping with increased demand for new bookings, rebookings and one-way rentals.