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Why Southwest Airlines canceled so many flights during the busiest holiday travel week of the year

Southwest Airlines travelers faced a brutal capstone to their Christmas weekend, as the Dallas-based carrier canceled more than 70% of its flights Monday — approximately 2,900 of them, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. Another 63% had been canceled by Tuesday, the site said.

While most other U.S. airlines also canceled some flights as a result of the unprecedented winter storm that swept across the U.S., none were as hard-hit as Southwest. On Monday, the airline confirmed it would be operating at just one-third capacity ‘for the next several days.’

So, what happened?

In a statement on its website, Southwest called its own performance ‘unacceptable.’

It said that while it was fully staffed for the holiday travel period, the brutal weather forced daily changes to its flight schedule ‘at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams use to recover the airline operating at capacity.’

This post appeared first on NBC NEWS

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