LOS ANGELES - The holiday season has taken an unfortunate turn for travelers stranded at the Los Angeles International Airport and other Southern California airports in the days after Christmas. The travel headache comes as Southwest Airlines canceled more than 2,700 flights Monday.
One of the travelers stranded at LAX, Doug, told FOX 11 that Southwest has "wiped out any ability to make a reservation until January 1." Doug and his family were planning to head to northern Idaho Monday, but instead he and his family are spending the entire day at the airport.
On Southwest Airlines' web page, there are no flights available departing or flying into LAX from various airports including Sea-Tac (SEA), Phoenix (PHX), New York (LGA) and San Francisco (SFO) until Dec. 31.
The unhappy traveler told FOX 11's Laura Diaz Monday evening that the earliest the airline could do rebooking was Dec. 31.
Screenshot taken at 5:30 p.m. PT Monday, December 26 shows all flights out of LAX being unavailable for booking to travelers looking to fly to Atlanta.
Another traveler shared a similar experience with FOX 11's Cristy Fajardo at the Hollywood Burbank Airport on Tuesday morning.
RELATED: Why is Southwest Airlines canceling so many flights?
As of 8 p.m. Monday, LAX saw more than 160 flight cancelations and more than 340 delays. Southwest flights accounted for 106 of the cancelations and nearly 30 delays during the same time frame.
Southwest issued the following statement in the wake of the flight cancelations:
"With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our Customers and Employees in a significant way that is unacceptable.
And our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning.
We’re working with Safety at the forefront to urgently address wide-scale disruption by rebalancing the airline and repositioning Crews and our fleet ultimately to best serve all who plan to travel with us.
We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S. These operational conditions forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams use to recover the airline operating at capacity.
This safety-first work is intentional, ongoing, and necessary to return to normal reliability, one that minimizes last-minute inconveniences. We anticipate additional changes with an already reduced level of flights as we approach the coming New Year holiday travel period. And we’re working to reach to customers whose travel plans will change with specific information and their available options.
Our Employees and Crews scheduled to work this holiday season are showing up in every single way. We are beyond grateful for that. Our shared goal is to take care of every single Customer with the Hospitality and Heart for which we’re known.
On the other side of this, we’ll work to make things right for those we’ve let down, including our Employees.
With no concern higher than ultimate Safety, the People of Southwest share a goal to take care of each and every Customer. We recognize falling short and sincerely apologize."
The US Department of Transportation said they are investigating the airline for its "unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays."