Southwest Airlines resumes normal operations after cancellations

Southwest Airlines has faced intense criticism after thousands of flights were canceled over the past week but said it is expecting to be back to normal operations on Friday, Dec. 30.

The carrier not only blames the severe winter storms around the U.S. but several other factors, such as the system-wide disruptions, including staffing and its reliance on a point-to-point system instead of using a hub.

According to FlightAware, 39 Southwest flights were canceled on Friday, Dec. 30, fewer than the 2,300 flights that were called off on Thursday.

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Hundreds of thousands of customers were stranded in airports on Christmas. 

Over the past few days, Southwest has only flown about one-third of its scheduled flights.

Hotel rooms and rental car costs are mounting for some travelers as they try to find alternative ways to get to their destinations. 

Southwest added a page to its website for passengers to request refunds and rebook flights. They are also offering to reimburse people for their hotel and food costs.

There are still people who are unable to get help, but federal officials have vowed to hold the airline accountable. 

The airline said they plan to hold themselves accountable, promising normal operations from Friday, Dec. 30, with minimal disruptions.