Long lines of stranded passengers formed inside the Southwest terminal at Denver International Airport before dawn on Monday. Southwest canceled over 140 flights on Sunday out of DIA alone. On Saturday, Southwest canceled 102 Southwest flights originating from Denver while 160 were delayed.
Thousands of passengers have been waiting at the Southwest terminal in Denver since Sunday. Some customers waited in line for hours just to be told at the check-in counter that the earliest flights out of the Mile High City would be on Wednesday, according to KUSA-TV.
"I started looking through (online) and there is just nothing, nothing, nothing for the next few days," Ainsley Parfitt, who flew to Denver from Florida this past weekend to shop for a wedding dress with her future sister-in-law, announced.
Parfitt got a text message indicating that her flight back to Florida, scheduled for Sunday, was canceled. She and other stranded passengers waited on hold for hours attempting to book tickets through different airlines.
"I have been on the phone since 4:30 am this morning, waiting for somebody to answer. I am still waiting," announced Jeff Coles, a doctor who is trying to get home in time to see patients on Monday.
"There is nothing available at any price point today, tomorrow, or Tuesday."
Southwest has either reimbursed stranded customers whose flights were canceled or given $200 vouchers for those who rebooked, yet frustrated passengers announced that the vouchers won't cover if they need to stay at hotels and rent cars for longer periods of time.
The Federal Aviation Administration has denied reports of a "mass sickout" at the air traffic control center at Jacksonville International Airport, which was said to have affected Southwest.
"No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday," the agency said in a statement.
The carrier has canceled 348 flights Monday and delayed another 303 flights, According to Flightaware.
The Dallas-based airline had blamed air traffic control matters and weather for its weekend "operational challenges" that saw more than 1,000 canceled flights on Sunday alone. Southwest Airlines was the only airline to report the issues on that scale.
According to FlightAware, American Airlines canceled just two percent of its flights while Spirit Airlines axed two percent of theirs.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association president told News4Jax that the delays were due to staffing and a 'poorly run operation.'