Last week’s massive winter storm forced U.S. airlines to delay and cancel thousands of flights, tossing countless passengers into the midst of holiday travel chaos that might have felt a little too close to the plot of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) for comfort.
But while most airlines have more or less gotten their schedules back to business as usual, Southwest Airlines has yet to recover. On Wednesday, December 28, per flight tracker site FlightAware, it canceled about 2500 flights.
According to The New York Times, one of Southwest’s prime selling points is partly to blame for the situation: While other airlines rely on layovers at large metro airports to connect travelers from one smaller city to another, Southwest will often take you to your destination directly. But smaller airports mean fewer resources; and if a flight to one of those smaller airports gets canceled, it’s harder to find standby crew members and another plane to take its place. This can—and did—cause a very widespread and disruptive ripple effect. Other issues fed into the fiasco, too, like Southwest’s outdated scheduling tech.
But if your Southwest flight was canceled, you might be slightly less interested in why it happened and more concerned with getting your money back. This should be easier than finding another plane, train, or automobile to take you home (or away from home). As MassLive.com reports, you can request a refund by going to Southwest’s Travel Disruption Information page and entering just three data points: your first name, last name, and reservation confirmation number.
You can also request reimbursement for “additional expenses”—including hotel rooms, meals, rental cars, and other flight tickets—incurred as the result of “a flight cancellation or significant flight delay between December 24, 2022, and January 2, 2023.” To do this, visit the Email Us page and submit a complaint about your flight cancellation or delay: You’ll see an Upload Files button where you should add your receipts, and there’s a text box where you can explain what they were for and why you should be compensated.