Like yesterday, Southwest Airlines again led the world in most flight cancellations. They’re not just little pilots and ramp agents. With half of the airline’s flights delayed – again – customers across the country have needed help getting rebooked. And the airline’s phone system today chose to collapse.
In order to fix the phone system issues, Southwest actually stopped taking phone calls.
A call center agent offers,
In the midst of all this craziness the phone servers are down I can’t hear my customers and so many agents don’t show up today because they don’t want to deal with customer abuse that keeps no calling because we can’t help them. They are offering 3x pay tomorrow and 1.5x for the next few weeks.
Southwest offers its telephone agents triple salary to help get out of the current mess with customers.
Here’s how the airline describes the confluence events that led to the collapse of their vacation. Nowhere is the lack of staff mentioned.
It’s been a bad day for flying. Delta has canceled 22% of its main operation so far today. United canceled 12%. Alaska, with its Seattle hub in disarray, canceled 30%. American Airlines was a relative bright spot with just 3% cancellations (but 25% delays) on the mainline. Nowhere has that been more difficult, however, than Southwest.