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One of my kids’ Christmas presents was a quick trip to Chicago to see Potted Potter, a Harry Potter-inspired play.  We had been planning this for awhile but it will really be just a quick overnight trip there and back.

Flight…. canceled

We had planned an afternoon (3:35pm) departure for a 7pm show (the flight is only an hour AND you gain an hour going west) and were getting ready to go to bed the night before when I got an interesting email

Canceled?!?  With like 18 hours notice?  To make things more interesting, when I first logged into Southwest.com, they were still showing the flight as available

On the phone with Southwest

Since I was still a bit confused as to if the flights were REALLY canceled or not, I opted to call Southwest instead of trying to rebook myself

(SEE ALSO: How to cancel a Southwest flight – one easy step)

In hindsight, that was probably a mistake, as by the time I got a hold of an agent (15 minute hold time), my options had become more limited.  There were 3 earlier flights to Chicago – 6:10, 8:45 and 10:20 a.m.  There was also a later flight (6:45pm) but that would not work with our 7pm showtime. By the time I talked to the agent and she started trying to rebook us, the 10:20 a.m. flight did not have 4 seats for us and the 8:45 a.m. flight was ALSO canceled.  So we ended up going for the 6:10 a.m. flight

We were able to get rebooked but instead of a regular morning schedule and getting in a half day of work, I got to set my alarm for 4 a.m. :-D.  I was just glad I noticed this cancellation email before I got up in the morning or we would have had a REAL problem!

What is going on?

The strange thing about the flight being canceled is that the reason they gave was snow but… it’s not snowing or forecast to snow in Cincinnati OR Chicago!  There is a 30% chance of snow flurries later in the day in Chicago but that seems odd to cancel flights (especially the 8:45 a.m. one)

One of the phone agents suggested that it was due to the cold but surely the 6a.m. flight is going to have colder weather than those later in the day?

The only thing that I can think of is that there were snow / delays / cancellations in OTHER cities and the planes that were going to service these flights couldn’t get to Chicago.  I tried to track them through FlightAware but did not find anything that made sense.

(SEE ALSO: The one trick to check if your flight is going to be delayed)

I know I have a few readers that work for Southwest so maybe they can shed some light on things.  In any case, we are just happy to not have our plans completely ruined!  I do need to get a better card for trip delay / protection insurance though.  I canceled the Citi Prestige due to the annual fee and haven’t been able to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve due to the Chase 5/24 rule


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