Over 300 flights at Denver International Airport have been canceled Tuesday, and nearly all of those flights were from Southwest Airlines.
Southwest canceled 54% of their flights through Denver by 9 a.m., or 295 flights, while other major airlines United and Delta only canceled 2%, according to FlightAware. Only 13 United flights and two Delta flights were canceled; on other airlines, six Spirit flights, three Alaska Airlines flights and one SkyWest flight were canceled.
An additional 118 flights in or out of Denver were delayed.
Southwest Airlines spokesperson Chris Perry said Monday that the airline is “still experiencing disruptions” due to winter storms’ “lingering effects.”
Perry also confirmed the authenticity of a leaked internal memo that said Southwest entered a “state of operational emergency” in Denver on Dec. 21 because of an unusually high number of absences among ramp agents. But Perry could not say whether that staffing issue was still affecting flights in Denver and denied that there was any coordinated “job action” by Southwest employees.
Nationally, the Associated Press reported that of the 2,890 flight cancellations in the U.S. early Tuesday, 2,522 were called off by Southwest.
USDOT is concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service. The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.
— TransportationGov (@USDOT) December 27, 2022
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday tweeted it was “concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service.”
The tweet said the department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if the airline was complying with their customer service plan.