PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The lines and frustrations continue at Philadelphia International Airport as Southwest Airlines passengers try to navigate more delays and cancellations. As of Monday, two arriving flights have been canceled at Philadelphia International Airport, and about 365 have been canceled nationwide.
“I am upset and frustrated,” passenger Jessica Welhaf said.READ MORE: Pennsauken Police Searching For Hit-And-Run Driver Who Killed Shadid Fauntleroy While Crossing Route 130
Welhaf is one of thousands of Southwest Airlines passengers caught up in a nightmare of delays and cancellations with the airline.
“I’ve flown with Southwest before and haven’t had any issues, didn’t expect this to be any more than just a delay,” Welhaf said.
Over the weekend, Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights, citing weather and air traffic control issues. That led to headaches for travelers everywhere, including at Philadelphia International Airport.
“They said it was because of the weather and no one believed that because all the other flights were going out,” May Savage, who arrived from San Francisco, told CBS3 Sunday evening.
However, the airline is clashing with its pilots’ union over the federal vaccine mandate. The union says there was no organized sickout.
“Unofficially, what I’ve heard is there are some rogue pilots who are anti-vaccine folks. They are not showing up for work. Southwest’s absolute meltdown doesn’t bode well for Thanksgiving or for Christmas,” airline industry expert Henry Harteveldt said.
The federal vaccine mandate for airlines begins on Dec. 8 and Southwest’s pilot union says it’s considering an official demonstration then.READ MORE: Upper Darby Mayor Unveils Plan To Resolve Battle Over Control Of Summer Stage
Welhaf soon found out her delayed flight from Orlando to Philadelphia would turn into a days-long inconvenience.
“We don’t have anything until Monday and I was like, ‘OK, well that’s two days from now. I need to stay somewhere. I don’t have family here,'” Welhaf tells CBS3.
The Bucks County resident says she wasn’t offered any vouchers for food or lodging, so she had to dip into her savings to accommodate the continued delays.
Now she’s learned that her Monday flight has been canceled, as well. Exasperated, She’s now taking a bus to Miami and boarding a different airline home to Philadelphia on Tuesday morning.
“Fortunately, it ended well for me but it was such a hassle to get to this point,” she said.
Welhaf spent hundreds on accommodations, plus a new plane ticket on American, and it’s unclear if she’ll be reimbursed at all by Southwest.
Southwest has vowed to take care of its passengers in this wake of the massive weekend disruption saying in a statement, “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.”
According to the Southwest Airlines website, the company is also experiencing an influx of calls to its help center.MORE NEWS: Man Robs 16-Year-Old Girl At Knifepoint At SEPTA Station, Police Say
CBS3’s Natasha Brown contributed to this report.