Baltimore City

Southwest flight cancellations continue Wednesday at BWI Marshall Airport

File photo of Southwest Airlines jets seen at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Widespread cancellations at BWI Marshall Airport are expected to continue for a third consecutive day as Southwest Airlines, the dominant airline carrier, canceled 102 flights Wednesday.

The airline canceled 2,500 flights nationally on Wednesday, according to flight tracking service Flight Aware, and has canceled more than 5,000 flights since Monday, far exceeding other airlines. BWI is experiencing the most cancellations after Denver International Airport and Chicago Midway.


Since Monday, passengers on nearly 600 Southwest flights at BWI have been stranded or forced to make alternative plans because of cancellations.

Long lines that plagued BWI earlier this week subsided by Wednesday, said Jonathan Dean, a spokesperson for BWI. Southwest’s operations are calm and orderly, he said.


The federal government said it would investigate why the company lagged so far behind other carriers. Canceled and delayed flights will continue this week as the airline tries to restore order to its imploded schedule. The company said it will take days to return to normal.

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Southwest CEO Robert Jordan apologized to customers in a video statement Tuesday.

In a video that Southwest posted late Tuesday, Jordan said Southwest would operate a reduced schedule for several days but hoped to be “back on track before next week.”

Jordan blamed the winter storm for snarling the airline’s “highly complex” network. He said Southwest’s tools for recovering from disruptions work “99% of the time, but clearly we need to double down” on upgrading systems to avoid a repeat of this week.

“We have some real work to do in making this right,” said Jordan, a 34-year Southwest veteran who became CEO in February. “For now, I want you to know that we are committed to that.”

The problems began over the weekend and snowballed Monday, when Southwest called off more than 70% of its flights.

That was after the worst of the storm had passed. The airline said many pilots and flight attendants were out of position to work their flights. Leaders of unions representing Southwest pilots and flight attendants blamed antiquated crew-scheduling software and criticized company management.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.