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Will Southwest's loyal customer base return after the week of massive delays?

Will Southwest's loyal customer base return after the week of massive delays?
Will Southwest's loyal customer base return after the week of massive delays? 02:07

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After about a week of massive delays and cancellations, Southwest Airlines said Friday operations should be back on track. 

Over the past several days, the airline cut two-thirds of its flights as it looked to get its crews back in place after they blamed the winter storm as it blanketed many cities they fly to. 

"Your flight attendants are very sorry for having to say 'we're sorry' to you and that we're going to hold the executives accountable to get this repaired," said Lyn Montgomery, president TWU 556, the Union of Southwest flight attendants.

Montgomery said the company has experienced mini-malfunctions before, but this revealed a larger problem with its outdated system.  

"I think Southwest Airlines will do what it can to make things right with its customers. I am very leery about whether it will really work to make things right with the flight attendants and workers that have been suffering for quite a long time," added Montgomery. 

Throughout the decades, the airline has changed from it's earlier days said Montgomery, "They contend to be an employee-eccentric airline but they're not and we used to be and we left those kind of principals behind."

But how will this impact Southwest's loyal customer base?

"The challenge that they're going to face is not just weathering this storm it is what are they going to do in the weeks and months ahead when they come under a lot of pressure to make good on their pledges to actually upgrade their systems and take real concrete steps to make sure that this doesn't again to their customers," said Evan Nierman, CEO or Red Banyan Crisis PR. 

Nierman believes once the company gets over this initial phase of the crisis they can regain the trust of their customers—but the looming investigations will keep this in the spotlight. 

"This is going to be a problem that they're going to be wrestling with for the immediate and midterm future," added Nierman, "Moving forward the challenge for Southwest is going to be put their money where their mouth is and to actually reimburse the customers who had to face a horrific time around these holidays. And then step two is what are they going to do as an organization to make the investments to ensure that this kind of systemic failure doesn't happen again."

Passengers told CBS 11 they are split on whether they will fly with the airline again. 

"I absolutely will, I had no issues," said Diane Anderson who flew back from Orlando. 

"I believe in forgiveness," said passenger Colton Rector. 

However for Tonya Hines, she had to sleep multiple nights in the Orlando airport, "It's been a rough ride," and doesn't believe they will book with Southwest again after this experience, "Took a whole week of pay for me and my wife, I'm not a happy camper."

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