SNL Takes Aim at Southwest Airlines After Flight Chaos

Saturday Night Live (SNL) channeled the frustrations of travelers by firmly taking aim at Southwest Airlines and the chaos endured by its passengers over the holiday season.

In December the airline announced thousands of flight cancellations as a result not only of a winter storm but also subsequent staff and scheduling problems.

In a January 26 press release, Southwest Airlines said the holiday season meltdown contributed to a fourth-quarter net loss of more than $200 million.

The airline's much-criticized performance proved ripe material for the SNL cast to tackle head-on. Heidi Garner, playing a Southwest Airlines employee, said: "Our system collapsed and thousands of flyers were left stranded. And you understandably steamed at us for days on end, even more than you usually do."

SNL cast members as Southwest Airlines employees
SNL cast members Heidi Gardner, left, and Devon Walker spoofed Southwest Airlines employees. SNL took aim at the airline over its holiday season chaos. SNL

To tackle the airline's woes, the spoof said Southwest's entire communication system would be switched to 2008 Dell computers and the "2002 Thinkpad laptops with the little red nipple in the middle" would no longer be used.

Employees also promised to modernize the air traffic control network, going from pen and paper to the previously mentioned 2002 Thinkpad laptops.

Gardner returned towards the end of the sketch to hit out at passengers, adding: "You bought a Southwest ticket. You obviously don't respect yourself, so why should we?"

Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines President and Chief Executive Officer apologized for the holiday season disruptions.

He said: "With regard to the operational disruptions, I am deeply sorry for the impact to our employees and customers. We have swiftly taken steps to bolster our operational resilience and are undergoing a detailed review of the December events.

"In addition, our board of directors has established an operations review committee that is working with the company's management to help oversee the company's response. As part of our efforts, we are also conducting a third-party review of the December events and are reexamining the priority of technology and other investments planned in 2023."

Despite the poor performance in the fourth quarter, the airline made $539 million in full-year net income.

SNL Tackles Investigation Into Classified Documents

The show began with Mikey Day portraying Attorney General Merrick Garland as a nerdy investigator willing to do whatever it took to get a hold of classified documents.

After touching on the documents found in Donald Trump and Joe Biden's residences, fictional FBI agents played by Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim and Bowen Yang explained how they searched the properties of Mike Pence, Kamala Harris and Barack Obama.

Nwodim poked fun at Biden and Harris' work relationship, suggesting the president would not trust her with a pen, let alone classified documents.

Yang then proceeded to gush over former president Obama and noted when he was asked about the documents, the Democrat commented he was "out of the government game and doing the Hollywood thing." Crucially, the sketch made it appear that no serious attempt of a search was done and that the FBI agent was starstruck.

Weekend Update Tears Into George Santos

Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost tackled the big news stories of the week, including the revelation that embattled Republican representative George Santos had dressed as a drag queen in Brazil.

Jost added: "George Santos admitted that while living in Brazil, he did dress in drag, but said he was not a drag queen. Okay, honey, we knew that from your contouring."

The revelation heaps more pressure on Santos, who has allegedly lied about much of his backstory, with many people disputing numerous claims that he made during his successful election campaign.

Newsweek has contacted Southwest Airlines, the White House and a Santos representative for comment.