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Southwest flights rebounding, customers starting to see refunds

Only 1% of Southwest's flights were canceled Friday, down from 70% earlier this week.

AUSTIN, Texas — A week filled with travel woes appears to be ending in relief Friday, Dec. 30.

Southwest Airlines officials said their operations are expected to return to normal after a week of what many called a meltdown.

Only 1% of Southwest's flights were canceled Friday, down from 70% earlier this week.

"There will be lessons learned from this and we will continue to make more investments," said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines CEO.

As the airline tries to make things right, some travelers said they're starting to get their money back.

"I got some refunds from Southwest that I paid for like an early check in and they refunded that back to me," said Staci Frazier, a traveler going through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Friday evening.

Southwest launched a webpage where travelers can request reimbursements.

Mike Arnold with Tynan Travel Company based out of Dallas said it will take time for Southwest to fix all of this.

"We've never really seen something that has been this systemic of this scale for this duration," said Arnold. "They know that they're on the hook for a lot of this."

He said some may get their money back faster, noting frequent fliers and rewards members of the airlines are likely to be prioritized as they begin to process requests.

From what he's seen so far he said it seems like the airline is going above and beyond.

"It has to exceed what the expectations are from the federal government. And I think that that's something that they're going to do," said Arnold.

As some travelers search for bags and workers wade through the luggage that lingers, Southwest's CEO Bob Jordan issued more apologies.

"There's no way almost to apologize enough because we love our customers, we love our people and really impacted their plans," said Jordan.

Arnold said now it's a waiting game as reimbursements and refunds go out.

"I think patience is just going to be key, unfortunately. I mean, it could take, that could take upwards of a month, honestly," said Arnold.

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