Southwest Flight Cancellations Due to De-Icing Fluid Shortage Shouldn't Have Happened, Expert Says

Operations for Southwest Airlines were back to normal at Midway Monday--after hundreds of flights were cancelled the day before due to a lack of de-icing fluid.

That shortage saw passengers stuck at the airport asking: how does that happen?

Southwest says the vendor they use ran out of glycol Sunday morning and the “safest operational solution” was to cancel the rest of the day’s flights.

Passengers say they’re the ones paying for the airlines inventory problem.

Jeanne romero was supposed to be back in balmy orlando... But is stuck spending more time in chilly chicago.. Because southwest ran out of de-icing fluid.

“My friend texted me this am and said it’s 80 degrees,” Romero said. “Somebody dropped the ball there. If all the other plans had deicing shouldn’t we have had it.”

When the vendor it uses ran out of the de-icing liquid glycol, Southwest cancelled more than 200 flights Sunday stranding passengers in the airport.

"I slept under flight information desk over there on the ground," Erin Vural said.

Or forcing others including Matt Genilla, traveling to Pittsburgh, to pay for hotel rooms.

“I was disappointed they couldn’t give us a reimbursement,” he told NBC 5.

Depaul aviation expert Joe Schweiterman says he’s surprised Southwest didn’t act on the de-icing depletion sooner.

“This is a major hub for Southwest, this sort of thing should never happened,” Schweiterman said. “Premptive cancellations, notifying passengers that can change reservations none of that appeared to happen so we had just a meltdown situation.”

Southwest re-booked passengers on Monday's flights which are back on time.

But for Reede Nichols it was too late — he missed his grandfather’s funeral.

"You would think a major airline would be prepared for something like that,” Nichols said.

Southwest says they have now added additional glycol vendors and scheduled additional deliveries to get back up to capacity.

But that’s little consolation to the passengers still waiting to fly out — some more than 24 hours after their cancelled flights.

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