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Southwest Airlines plans to return to normal operations on Friday


Southwest Airlines plans to return to normal operations with minimal disruptions on Friday.


The announcement comes after the airline was forced to cancel thousands of flights after extreme winter weather tore through large swaths of the United States.


At this time the airline is fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend.


The airline states that the extreme weather resulted in continuing challenges impacting customers and employees in "a significant way that is unacceptable."


Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S.


The U.S. Department of Transportation will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan.


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