DENVER (KDVR) — Denver International Airport has been riddled with stranded, frustrated travelers over the past week, and now the airport’s management wants to know what went wrong so it can figure out how to avoid it in the future.
While Southwest Airlines encountered the largest number of cancellations, other major carriers had some issues of their own as well. The delays and cancellations began with the winter storm that came through the Centennial State but they continued as the storm moved east.
According to FlightAware at 1 p.m., 53% of DIA flights canceled on Wednesday were from Southwest. The airline said it’s a combination of weather and other factors, while the flight attendants’ union is blaming it mainly on outdated software creating confusion among employees within the company.
The airport’s CEO Phillip A. Washington is asking Southwest, United and Frontier in an after-action review these key questions:
- What was supposed to have happened?
- What actually happened?
- Why did it happen?
- What went well?
- What did not go well?
- What are we going to do next time?
“What we want to do is raise the standards at this airport. So, we are talking to those airlines and saying listen you need to get this better to do this. For the most part, they listen to us,” Washington said.
Washington explains focus on fixing the problem
I believe it’s critically important that we seize the opportunity to learn from every incident. I have conducted AARs on a regular basis throughout both my military and transportation career. Though airline accountability is imperative for this latest event, we want to determine why flight disruptions and delays happened and how we can improve the overall operations here at DEN going forward for the good of our flying passengers. In the meantime, we have asked the Denver Police Department to increase security around the baggage claim area until passengers can be reunited with their bags, and we are continuing to provide blankets, diapers and other amenities for stranded passengers.
Thousands of unclaimed luggage pieces
FOX31’s Vicente Arenas said officials at the airport reported approximately 10,000 pieces of luggage were unclaimed as of Tuesday afternoon due to the travel mishaps.
Lines were backed up for hours of people trying to find and claim their luggage so they could get to their next destination or get home.
One woman was worried about her husband’s medications, “I just need to get his medicines. That’s all I’m concerned about,” Janiel Gorman told Arenas.
Southwest announced that it would be reducing its number of flights for the next several days as it tried to come out of the hole created over the holiday travel.