DENVER (KDVR) — At several of the baggage claim areas on the east side of Denver International Airport, hundreds of pieces of stranded luggage were waiting to be reunited with their owners after a chaotic few days of canceled Southwest Airlines flights.

“I’m truly sorry,” Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan said in a video released Tuesday.

Jordan announced that for the next few days, the airline will reduce its flight schedule as they work to catch up.

“Our network is highly complex, and the operation of the airline counts on all the pieces on where they are planned to go,” Jordan said.

He said Southwest Airlines builds its flight schedule around communities, not around hubs. But stranded passengers like Amanda Velasquez want results, not excuses.

Southwest passengers stuck paying for hotels, meals

Velasquez said she has been stuck in Chicago since Sunday, trying to get home to Colorado. She said now she is rebooked for Dec. 30 but has had to pay her own way for a hotel and food while she waits.

“It’s 450 (dollars) on my own to stay here. I’m relying on soda and a pizza I’m going to make last. I’m at a point where I’m going to wash my clothes in the sink,” Velasquez said. “I was going to stay at the airport but it was way too expensive to stay there and eat their food.”


Another passenger dealing with issues is Sharon Taylor. She flew into Denver on Friday, but her bag never made it. Now on Tuesday, trying to return home, she had to get to DIA several hours early to try and find her bag.

“I haven’t combed my hair since Friday,” Taylor said. “I love Southwest. It’s my favorite airline. That’s my choice, but right now I’m frustrated. But just get me home safe.”

Taylor confirmed with FOX31 and Channel 2 she did board her delayed Southwest flight on Tuesday night.

Jordan said they are working on issuing refunds and hope to have things operating correctly by next week.