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'It's a nightmare': BWI travelers wait hours, days for luggage as Southwest cancels more flights

BWI travelers wait hours, days for luggage as Southwest cancels more flights
BWI travelers wait hours, days for luggage as Southwest cancels more flights 02:16

BALTIMORE - More Southwest Airlines flights in and out of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport were canceled Thursday as the carrier continues to recover from last week's winter storm.

According to FlightAware, 192 more Southwest flights were canceled at BWI on Thursday.

As of Thursday morning, Southwest had scrubbed more than 2,360 flights, or 58% of the airline's daily scheduled trips, according to Flight Aware. Overall, data from the tracking service shows the airline has scrapped more than 15,000 flights over the past week, leading to chaos at Southwest facilities around the U.S. and forcing CEO Robert Jordan to apologize.  

Southwest cancels hundreds more flights out of BWI leaving thousands stranded 02:37

While Southwest Airlines works through a nationwide crisis, 91 flights out of BWI and 99 flights coming into BWI were canceled Thursday.

Other airlines try to help as Southwest continues to cancel flights 01:45

The cancellations have led to passenger frustrations and long lines of unclaimed luggage. 

WJZ talked to travelers who begrudgingly checked their bags, some who had medication or important work documents.

Hundreds of people waiting hours in line were told they couldn't retrieve their bags on Thursday.

"Been here since Monday afternoon," travel Santana Acker said.

Acker said he has been without his luggage for four days, and then waited three hours in line on Thursday.

"Why would you take people's money when you don't have enough people to fly the plane? There's no logic at all," Acker said.

"It could be hours. It's a nightmare," traveler Kimberley Von Paris added.

Some travelers in Thursday's line tried connecting with Southwest by phone.

"Figured it was about five hours of waiting to talk to someone who simply said they don't know where your bags are," Von Paris said.

"I had no reimbursement from Southwest, so I had to use my own money to buy three airline tickets to get to Philadelphia, to get the rent-a-car," Cindy Slattery said.

Acker's air tag inside his bag tells him it's at BWI.

However, he was told that no one can go get his bag.

"What did Southwest learn from this experience?" Acker asked. "Are they gonna improve on it or are they gonna keep doing the same thing?"

Slattery said she waited in line for nearly three hours to be told her bag is at BWI but they don't have anyone to get it, so they will ship it to her.

Travelers looked at the departure board which still shows dozens of cancellations.

Southwest did say it expects to be back to normal operations on Friday.

"It looks a little chaotic, to say the least," traveler Stephen Hinkel said.

Fortunately for Hinkel, his flight home was on time.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Denver and being able to find my luggage hopefully as quickly as possible," Hinkel said.

Southwest had more than 200 cancellations each day this week while the airline works to accommodate those travelers.

According to Southwest Airlines, the carrier isn't permitted to rebook on another airline.

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