Southwest Airlines customers wait in line for hours at RNO

Published: Dec. 26, 2022 at 4:49 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -The day after Christmas is typically one of the busiest here at the Reno Tahoe Airport.

Step inside to check-in at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter; a line greets you. And not just any line. Many of these people tell us they’ve been waiting four hours.

And it’s not their first attempt to get out of “The Biggest Little City.”

“I think everyone should do this at least once. Have fun,” Brad Cole told us as he waited in line for a second time.

“I mean we are getting closer now,” said Estefani Figueroa. “So hopefully. But I don’t know if they are going to let me. I don’t know if there are any flights out.” Their stories may vary.

But all of these people waiting in line are hoping to reschedule their flight previously cancelled by Southwest.

According to the published reports, the airlines cancelled or delayed roughly 60% of their flights today. The airline says its due to weather conditions across the country. A domino effect seems to be happening with flights, crew and personnel at one weather-challenged airport impacting flights which connect or are a final destination at another airports.

Passengers we talked to say this isn’t their first venture to the airport nor to Southwest Airline’s ticket counter.

“Tried to make the best of it,” said Drew Shirley. “We got a stocking for the hotel room. And had some candy in there. But Christmas is going to have to wait until we can get home. Whenever that is.”

Even a travel agent we talked to says she saw the writing on the wall.

“And they said they could re-book me on the 29th of December, at 6am,” says Sharon McManus. “Which is 3 days from now. And I think I better come in person and try to get out in one of the airports in Orange County.”

Airport personnel made accommodations for Southwest Airline passengers by creating a wavy line through the ticket-counter area.

How long will this last? It is anyone’s guess. But keep in mind our area is slated for some weather of its own in the coming days.