Southwest Airlines CEO apologizes, 'optimistic' airline will be back on track before next week

Another day, the same situation at Dallas Love Field for Southwest Airlines passengers as more than 60% of Southwest flights were canceled at the airport for the second straight day.

With Southwest Airlines attempting to play catch up, flyers at Love Field are fed up.

"They don't answer the phone, no emails. They don't send anything," said 

"We are stuck here from Albuquerque," said Becca Mudge. "We were supposed to fly out Christmas Eve to get to DC and Baltimore."

Delays, canceled flights, lost luggage and now rental cars are in short supply.

READ MORE: Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue; USDOT to examine airline's role in holiday travel nightmare

"We thought we would rent a car, no big deal. Well, no car, no car, no shuttles, nobody to pick you up," said Marci Sosa from New Mexico.

Jamie Funderburk made the trip from East Texas to make sure her son and his girlfriend safely get home to Washington State.

"I drove up here expecting to probably get a hotel and stay the night, but it's the only way to get any answers," Funderburk said.

Since Sunday, Southwest has canceled thousands of flights nationwide. The Dallas-based carrier accounted for nearly three quarters of all cancelations nationwide on Monday alone.

Southwest blamed weather as part of the reason, yet neighboring airlines did not have as many weather-related issues.

"My flight got canceled because they said no crew," said Yunna Wynn from North Texas.

The check-in counter line was long, but not as hectic as it was Monday.

A new line continued to grow Tuesday: one with a sea of bags waiting to be claimed.

Vlad Supancic was waiting in that line on Tuesday. His Denver flight was delayed Saturday, and when he finally arrived in Dallas, his bag was missing.

"The flight was delayed in Denver, so we landed here in the morning Saturday around 4, and they loaded the incorrect plane. So the plane that was canceled the baggage was in the plane. So I got it today, finally," Supancic said.

Becca Mudge from New Mexico was stuck in Dallas for Christmas.

[REPORTER: "Are you enjoying Love Field?"]

"Haha, noooo," said Mudge.

READ MORE: Flight canceled? Can you get a refund? Here's how to find out if you're owed money

Marci Sosa's flight to Midland is delayed, so she also spent Christmas in Dallas.

"[My husband] got in this morning and thought, I am going to pick you up, and we are going to go right back. I said, ‘jokes on you honey because you haven’t seen the sea of luggage I saw last night before I left the airport.'" she said.

While passengers were frustrated, they said it is not the employees fault, but they do believe Southwest dropped the ball.

"This is a Southwest issue, and we have been very loyal to Southwest, but their system did not work this time," said Mudge.

"I have always flown Southwest, but now I am questioning if I will," said Wynn.

Many of the canceled flights will be canceled until the end of the week, so while the winter weather in many states has eased up Southwest has canceled flights for thousands of passengers.

More than 200 Southwest flights at Dallas Love Field have already been canceled on Wednesday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

128 have been canceled at Love on Thursday.

Southwest CEO on Flight Cancellations

Southwest CEO Bob Jordan gave a video update on conditions at airports across the country on Tuesday evening.

"I want everyone who is dealing with the problems we have been facing, whether you haven't been able to get to where you need to go, or you are one of our heroic employees caught up in a massive effort to stabilize the airline to know we are doing everything we can to return to a normal operation," said Jordan.

Jordan blamed the winter weather for kicking off a series of events leading to cancelations.

READ MORE: Nearly 5,000 US flights canceled on day after Christmas

"With our large fleet of flight crews and airplanes out of position in dozens of locations and after days of trying to operate as much of our full schedule across the busy holiday weekend we reached a decision point to significantly reduce our flying to catch up," he said.

Jordan said the airline is going to double down on its plan to upgrade systems for extreme circumstances.

He says teams are working to process refunds and reaching out to customers who are dealing with costly detours.

"Our plan for the next few days is to fly a reduced schedule and reposition our people and planes, and we are making headway and we are optimistic that we will be back on track before next week," Jordan said.

Technology Concerns

Captain Casey Murray, the President of the Southwest Airlines Pilot's Association, says there have been warning signs for years.

"This one is catastrophic. Will this affect change? At this point, I can't tell you if it will," said Murray.

Crew members must call the Southwest scheduling department to find out what to do after a canceled flight.

Over the holiday weekend the scheduling system couldn't keep up.

"How Southwest connects pilots and flight attendants is beyond archaic, and the IT that supports that is 1990s vintage," said Murray. "If sweeping leadership changes and sweeping technology changes are not made you are going to see it again."

My flight is affected! What should I do?

Officials with Southwest Airlines say they are experiencing high call volumes, and travelers who do not have plans to travel in the next 72 hours should wait to call if they can, or use the airline's self-service digital tools.

Live airline flight cancelation info

Flight status at Dallas Love Field