TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has promised to investigate the cause of Southwest’s mass flight cancellations that have impacted travelers at Tampa International Airport and across the United States.

“The problems at Southwest Airlines over the last several days go beyond weather. The Committee will be looking into the causes of these disruptions and its impact to consumers. Many airlines fail to adequately communicate with consumers during flight cancellations. Consumers deserve strong protections, including an updated consumer refund rule,” committee chair Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said in a statement.

The airline has canceled thousands of flights as it works to recover from a complete “meltdown” of its scheduling system.

Dan Endicott has been trying to get to Tampa from Ohio.

“We experience delays cancellations we got stuck in Nashville wound up renting a car, fortunately, and driving to Tampa,” Endicott said. “The good news is Southwest called us [Wednesday] morning and said our bags are here.”

Industry experts blame a trifecta of bad weather, the outdated software and the airlines lower cost point-to-point flight design for their woes.

The point-to-point system helps the airline fly more routes each day. It sends planes from point A to point B, unlike the  hub-and-spoke route system, which connects passengers and crews through a central point.

“In a point to point system like in Southwest, you can see a real domino effect of cancellations where if one flight gets canceled; it puts a lot of future flights that that plane and pilot and crew are supposed to operate at risk,” explained Scott Keyes, a travel expert and the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights.

Members of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association say they warned the company of a potential meltdown more than five years ago.

“I said, I fear that we are one thunderstorm, one ATC event, one winter storm away from a complete meltdown,” said Southwest Airlines Pilots Association president Capt. Casey Murray. “And here we are.”

“We have warned the company, we’ve tried to partner with them, and–and they just haven’t made the investment,” he added.

Southwest Airlines launched a new website Wednesday to allow customers to rebook their flights.

“All Customers traveling through January 2, 2023 are able to rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 30 days of your original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with our accommodation procedures) without paying additional charges; please know available inventory is limited during the holidays,” the website said.