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Southwest Getting Back On Schedule At Midway After Deicing Shortage

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Southwest Airlines was trying to get back on schedule Monday, after a weekend full of cancellations at Midway International Airport.

Most recently, the airline cancelled all flights out of Midway on Sunday, after running low on deicing fluid. Southwest cancelled about 220 flights due to the deicing shortage on Sunday.

A Southwest representative said the severity of winter weather in recent days caused its supplies of deicing fluid to dwindle.

After the airline was able to replenish its supply of glycol, the antifreeze material used to deice airplanes, a deicing pump malfunctioned overnight, prompting the airline to cancel more than a dozen flights Monday morning.

As of about 7 a.m., the airline had repaired its pump, and was resuming normal operations. A spokeswoman said Southwest expected to run a "close to normal schedule" on Monday.

"The glycol has been replenished and the airport deicing equipment is fully functional. Those developments, coupled with a more positive weather forecast for Chicago position us to safely operate our more than 250 departures out of Chicago Midway," spokeswoman Alyssa Eliasen stated in an email.

Midway has also announced they are adding extra deicing vendors at the airport.

According to the National Weather Service, Monday will be the first time in more than a week that Chicago didn't get snow. Sunday was the record 9th day in a row with measurable snow in Chicago, but Monday's forecast was expected to be clear, if cold, with a high in the low to mid 20s.

After hundreds more flights the previous few days due to heavy snow, plenty of Southwest passengers have seen their flight plans cancelled more than once since Thursday.

"Every time my phone this morning went a text, my heart stopped, because I was getting text messages, and then it was the limo driver saying 'Oh, I'm on my way.' This is the farthest we've made it. So that's like we said, we're going to go someplace today," said Colleen Charbuauski, who has been trying to leave on vacation since Friday.

Her friend, Diane Zimmerman, said, at this point, it doesn't matter so much where they go, so long as it gets them away from the winter weather.

"We're going wherever there's a flight to someplace warm," Zimmerman said.

Charbauski said they're booked on a flight to Orlando for now, but their next choice is Las Vegas if that flight is cancelled, too.

"We're, like, done with this," she said.

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