SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Southwest Airlines flight attendants and customers have been impacted by a plethora of operational struggles this holiday, and some say the airline is to blame for many of the challenges, according to TWU Local 556, the union of Southwest Airlines flight attendants.

Local 556 says that thousands of crew members have been stranded across the country during the winter storm, and some had to resort to sleeping on cots in airports. Some crew members who were lucky enough to get hotel rooms also experienced loss of power and access to water throughout the freezing conditions.

KRON On is streaming now

Many of the flight attendants were also forced to work past acceptable time limits, according to Local 556. Lyn Montgomery, president of TWU Local 556 said, “The way Southwest Airlines has treated its flight crews can only be termed ‘despicable.’”

We know the demands of holiday travel. We know winter storms. And believe me, we know about stepping up and putting in long work hours when we are called to do so; we are flight attendants. But at this point, the many years of failure by management, despite many unions’ demands to modernize, has left flight attendants fatigued, stranded, hungry and cold – on Christmas! This impacts lives and threatens safety for all.

Lyn Montgomery, President of TWU Local 556

On Christmas Day, Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan said in a company address, “Part of what we’re suffering is a lack of tools. We’ve talked an awful lot about modernizing the operation, and the need to do that. And Crew Scheduling is one of the places that we need to invest in.”

A press release posted to the airline’s website calls the impact from delays on employees and customers “unacceptable.” The release went on to say, “our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning.”

Customers and employees weren’t the only ones speaking out about delays and cancellations Southwest Airlines navigated over the holiday weekend. The U.S. Department of Transportation also posted a tweet concerning the cancellations and poor customer service travelers are reporting. The agency states it will “examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan. ”