'SNL': Southwest Airlines apologizes for mass holiday cancellations, offers absurd solutions

"Saturday Night Live" is joining in on many 2022 holiday travelers' favorite pastime: hating on Southwest Airlines.

"Over the holiday season, we messed up," said Heidi Gardner, who played a Southwest employee on this week's episode of the NBC sketch comedy show, as did Michael B. Jordan, Devon Walker and others. "Our system collapsed and thousands of flyers were left stranded. And you understandably screamed at us for days on end, even more than you usually do."

But never fear. On "SNL," Southwest vowed to make changes in order to provide a "better, more modern Southwest experience."

"For starters, we are finally upgrading our entire communication system to 2008 Dell computers," Gardner said – a step up from the airline's 2002 ThinkPad laptops.

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The sketch also included jokes that the airline will create a new premiere lounge by holding two or three tables at an airport Starbucks and will keep track of air traffic with computers instead of pen and paper.

Southwest will also sort luggage by color to keep bags from getting lost. For example, all red bags will go to Dallas and blue to Charlotte, North Carolina. This also makes bag sorting passengers' responsibility.

"Here at Southwest, mistakes were made, and that's on us, mostly. But some of it's on you," Gardner said. "Again, you bought a Southwest ticket. You obviously don't respect yourself, so why should we?"

Southwest reported a $220 million loss after taking a hit of $800 million from canceling about 16,700 flights in the last 10 days of December, according to airline executives during the carrier's fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday.

The Transportation Department is investigating whether Southwest scheduled more flights than it could realistically expect to handle, which it says would violate federal laws against deceptive trade practices. Southwest says its schedule was "thoughtfully designed," and the airline had ample staffing.

Contributing: David Koenig and Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'SNL' skewers Southwest Airlines for holiday flight cancellations