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Regional carrier SkyWest cancels hundreds of flights, impacting MSP

MSP saw several cancellations on Friday due to issues with SkyWest, which partners with Delta, American, United and Alaska Airlines.

MINNEAPOLIS — Regional carrier SkyWest canceled hundreds of flights nationwide on Thursday and Friday, causing a ripple effect felt at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

SkyWest has blamed the problem on a technical issue, which it claims is now fixed. However, the airline — which partners with Delta, United, American and Alaska Airlines — still had dozens of flights listed as canceled at MSP on Friday evening. That included arrivals and departures from cities like Memphis, International Falls and Grand Forks. 

"While our servers were restored Thursday evening, we are still experiencing operational disruption as we work to get crew and aircraft into position, with approximately 500 flights cancelled Friday," the company said in a statement. "We apologize to customers for the inconvenience and remain focused on efforts to return to normal operations as quickly as possible."

Larry Schams of La Crosse, Wisconsin, found himself at MSP unexpectedly on Friday after the SkyWest cancellations disrupted his trip home from a golf outing in Las Vegas. After making a connection from Vegas to Denver, his group's SkyWest flight from Denver to Rochester, Minn., was abruptly called off, forcing them to divert to Minneapolis.

"And now my wife is coming to pick us up from La Crosse, take us down to Rochester to get our vehicle, and then go home," Schams said. "But all of our bags made it. Crazy!"

SkyWest is just the latest airline to have issues with flight cancellations, as travel numbers roar back from pandemic lows. 

Spirit canceled hundreds of flights in August, and just this month, Southwest was in the news for more than 2,000 cancellations due to a number of factors. In Southwest's case, severe weather and air traffic control issues reportedly played a role, although the company's CEO has also acknowledged staffing challenges.

It's making for a lot of anxious travelers these days.

But, as Dania Basave explained at baggage claim after returning to MSP from a trip to Europe: 

"I guess I was just as worried as I would regularly be," she said. "You never know — and there's nothing you can do if it does happen."