With thousands of people trying to navigate travel disruptions while on vacation, one army colonel sent a message to his men saying they shouldn’t have to worry about unruly travel disruptions.
Colonel Ryan Crank of the 16th Cavalry Regiment of Fort Benning, Georgia, sent out a tweet on Wednesday addressing travel disruptions due to inclement weather and mass cancellations by one national airline. Mr. Crank told people concerned about disruptions to their travel plans to contact his chain of command.
“My number one priority is to make sure our teams, soldiers, civilians and families are safe,” Crank said in a tweet. “Don’t worry about vacation dates or fees. We have accommodations and powers for situations like this, and I intend to exercise them in the best interest of our soldiers.”
The message to the military came at a time when severe winter weather across the country derailed vacation travel plans for thousands. A delay has occurred.
But Southwest Airlines, which has the second-highest domestic market share among U.S. airlines, faced a system failure in its computer system that grounded thousands of people domestically. Southwest Airlines has canceled more than 15,000 of her flights since the winter weather started piling up on December 22nd. In an interview with CBS, the vice president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said much of the disruption was due to a malfunction in Southwest Airlines’ computer systems.
The Associated Press report details how many military personnel (and veterans) have faced flight cancellations and vacation delays due to flight cancellations. One service her member, Amiah Manlove, used most of her savings to fly her more than 4,000 miles from Hawaii to Indianapolis, Indiana. Halfway through her journey, Southwest canceled her connecting flight, leaving Manlove to sleep on the floor of the airport.
In a statement on Thursday, Southwest said it “expects to return to normal operations on Friday with minimal disruption.” We want to get back to normal as the holiday weekend continues full of important connections for our valued customers and employees.”
Zamone “Z” Perez is an Editorial Fellow of Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked in Foreign Policy and Ufaham He worked in Africa and helped produce podcasts. He graduated from Northwestern University, where his thesis researched humanitarian intervention and prevention of atrocities. You can find him on his Twitter @zamoneperez.