CNN reports Southwest Airlines has blindsided thousands of travelers with canceled departures at airports across the country. More than 2,000 Southwest customers had their flights canceled by the carrier Friday, October 8, and departure disruptions continued into Monday, October 11. It's too early to tell if the chaos has lingered into flights scheduled to go out today, but the world's largest low-cost carriers are going to have to do some serious explaining for this debacle. The aviation tracking site FlightAware reported Southwest canceled three of every 10 departures with 337 flights. Folks are furious and I can't say I blame them.

Southwest Airlines released a statement blaming cancellations on bad weather for flights coming out or going to Florida, along with air traffic control problems and limited staffing. More than half of Southwest's fleet comes out of Florida and FAA delay programs are reportedly what started the domino effect on cancelations. Late Sunday the carrier told CNN staffing reductions and schedule is proving to be "more difficult and prolonged" with getting operations back on track. Southwest officials said, "We've continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and crews repositioned to take care of our customers."

The Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary C Kelly, also spoke out on what his carrier is doing to get everything back to normal. Plus, airline analysts discuss if this will happen to other airlines like Spirit Airlines, and what impact this will have on the stock as well.

Meanwhile, as Southwest works feverishly to recover from this weekend's massive cancellations customers continue to scramble to find alternate ways to travel. Speaking of which, if you have a flight booked with Southwest you may want to double and triple check your departure. As Kelly stated, this will take a few days for the airline to rectify and more cancelations are possible until things get back to normal.

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